160 Questions to Ask After a Presentation

Asking questions after a presentation isn’t just a formality; it’s a gateway to deeper understanding, reflection, and connection.

Whether you’re seeking clarity, offering feedback, or probing into the thoughts and processes behind the content, the right questions can turn a routine presentation into a lively discussion. From engaging with the presenter’s ideas to sparking new insights, follow-up questions are the hidden keys that unlock a world of learning and collaboration.

Table of Contents

Questions to Ask After a Presentation for Feedback

Questions to ask after a presentation interview, questions to ask students after a presentation, questions to ask after a research presentation, questions to ask after a business presentation, questions to ask after a marketing presentation, questions to ask after a book presentation, reflection questions to ask after a presentation, frequently asked questions, is there an etiquette for asking questions in different cultures or settings, what if the presenter answers my question unsatisfactorily.

  • Can you summarize the key points of the presentation?
  • What aspect of the presentation did you find most engaging?
  • Were there any areas that were unclear or confusing? If so, what were they?
  • How would you rate the overall organization and flow of the presentation?
  • Did the visual aids (such as slides or charts) enhance your understanding of the topic? Why or why not?
  • Did the presenter maintain good eye contact and use body language effectively?
  • Was the presenter’s tone and pace suitable for the content and audience?
  • Were there any statistics or facts presented that stood out to you? Why?
  • Did the presenter address potential counter-arguments or opposing views adequately?
  • Were the objectives of the presentation clearly stated and met?
  • How well did the presenter handle questions or interruptions during the presentation?
  • Was there anything in the presentation that seemed unnecessary or redundant?
  • What would you suggest to improve the presentation for future audiences?
  • How did the presentation change or influence your thinking about the subject?
  • Did the presentation feel tailored to the audience’s knowledge and interest level?
  • Was there a clear and compelling call to action or concluding statement?
  • Did the presentation feel too short, too long, or just the right length?
  • What was your overall impression of the presenter’s credibility and expertise on the subject?
  • How would you rate the relevance and importance of the topic to the audience?
  • Can you identify any biases or assumptions in the presentation that may have influenced the message?
  • How did you determine what content to include in your presentation?
  • Can you explain the rationale behind the structure and flow of your presentation?
  • What challenges did you face while preparing this presentation, and how did you overcome them?
  • Were there any points in the presentation where you felt you could have elaborated more or less? Why?
  • How did you decide on the visual elements and design of your presentation?
  • Can you describe your intended audience and how you tailored the content to engage them?
  • How did you ensure that the information presented was accurate and up-to-date?
  • Were there any counter-arguments or opposing views on this topic that you considered including?
  • How would you adapt this presentation for a different audience or context?
  • How do you handle unexpected questions or interruptions during a presentation?
  • Can you give an example of how you’ve handled negative feedback on a presentation in the past?
  • How do you measure the success of a presentation? What metrics or feedback do you seek?
  • What techniques do you use to engage an audience that may not be familiar with the topic?
  • How do you balance the need to entertain and inform in a presentation?
  • How do you prioritize information when you have a limited time to present?
  • What strategies do you employ to ensure that your main points are memorable?
  • How do you deal with nerves or anxiety before or during a presentation?
  • Can you describe a situation where a presentation did not go as planned and how you handled it?
  • How do you keep up with the latest trends and best practices in presenting?
  • Is there anything you would change about this presentation if you were to do it again?
  • How did you feel about the presentation? Were you confident or nervous, and why?
  • What was the main message or goal of your presentation, and do you think you achieved it?
  • How did you decide on the structure of your presentation?
  • What research methods did you use to gather information for this presentation?
  • Were there any challenges you encountered while preparing or presenting, and how did you address them?
  • How did you ensure that your visual aids or multimedia elements supported your key points?
  • What part of the presentation are you most proud of, and why?
  • Were there any areas where you felt uncertain or that you would like to improve upon for next time?
  • How did you tailor your presentation to fit the knowledge level and interest of your audience?
  • What techniques did you use to engage the audience, and how do you think they worked?
  • How did you practice your presentation, and what adjustments did you make as a result?
  • Did you feel the time allotted for your presentation was sufficient? Why or why not?
  • How did you decide what to emphasize or de-emphasize in your presentation?
  • What feedback did you receive from peers during the preparation, and how did you incorporate it?
  • Did you have a clear conclusion or call to action, and why did you choose it?
  • How do you think your presentation style affects the way your audience receives your message?
  • What would you do differently if you were to present this topic again?
  • Can you reflect on a piece of feedback or a question from the audience that made you think?
  • How has this presentation helped you better understand the subject matter?
  • How will the skills and insights gained from this presentation experience benefit you in the future?
  • Can you elaborate on the research question and what prompted you to investigate this topic?
  • How did you choose the methodology for this research, and why was it the most suitable approach?
  • Can you discuss any limitations or constraints within your research design and how they might have affected the results?
  • How do your findings align or contrast with existing literature or previous research in this field?
  • Were there any unexpected findings, and if so, how do you interpret them?
  • How did you ensure the reliability and validity of your data?
  • Can you discuss the ethical considerations involved in your research, and how were they addressed?
  • What are the practical implications of your findings for practitioners in the field?
  • How might your research contribute to theoretical development within this discipline?
  • What recommendations do you have for future research based on your findings?
  • Can you provide more details about your sample size and selection process?
  • How did you handle missing or inconsistent data within your research?
  • Were there any biases that could have influenced the results, and how were they mitigated?
  • How do you plan to disseminate these findings within the academic community or to the broader public?
  • Can you discuss the significance of your research within a broader social, economic, or cultural context?
  • What feedback have you received from peers or advisors on this research, and how has it shaped your work?
  • How does your research fit into your long-term academic or professional goals?
  • Were there any particular challenges in conveying complex research findings to a general audience, and how did you address them?
  • How does this research presentation fit into the larger project or research agenda, if applicable?
  • Can you provide more insight into the interdisciplinary aspects of your research, if any, and how they contributed to the depth or breadth of understanding?
  • Can you elaborate on the primary objectives and expected outcomes of this business initiative?
  • How does this strategy align with the overall mission and vision of the company?
  • What are the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you’ll be monitoring to gauge success?
  • Can you discuss the risks associated with this plan, and how have you prepared to mitigate them?
  • How does this proposal fit within the current market landscape, and what sets it apart from competitors?
  • What are the potential financial implications of this plan, including both investments and projected returns?
  • Can you provide more detail about the timeline and milestones for implementation?
  • What internal and external resources will be required, and how have you planned to allocate them?
  • How did you gather and analyze the data presented, and how does it support your conclusions?
  • How does this proposal take into account regulatory compliance and ethical considerations?
  • What are the potential challenges or roadblocks, and what strategies are in place to overcome them?
  • Can you explain how this initiative aligns with or affects other ongoing projects or departments within the company?
  • How will this plan impact stakeholders, and how have their interests and concerns been addressed?
  • What contingency plans are in place if the initial strategy doesn’t achieve the desired results?
  • How will success be communicated and celebrated within the organization?
  • What opportunities for collaboration or partnership with other organizations exist within this plan?
  • How does this proposal consider sustainability and the potential long-term impact on the environment and community?
  • How have you incorporated feedback or lessons learned from previous similar initiatives?
  • What are the key takeaways you’d like us to remember from this presentation?
  • How can we get involved or support this initiative moving forward?
  • Can you elaborate on the target audience for this marketing campaign, and how were they identified?
  • What are the main objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) for this campaign?
  • How does this marketing strategy align with the overall brand values and business goals?
  • What channels will be utilized, and why were they chosen for this particular campaign?
  • Can you discuss the expected return on investment (ROI) and how it will be measured?
  • What are the creative concepts driving this campaign, and how do they resonate with the target audience?
  • How does this campaign consider the competitive landscape, and what sets it apart from competitors’ efforts?
  • What are the potential risks or challenges with this marketing plan, and how will they be mitigated?
  • Can you provide more details about the budget allocation across different marketing channels and activities?
  • How have customer insights or feedback been integrated into the campaign strategy?
  • What contingency plans are in place if certain elements of the campaign do not perform as expected?
  • How will this marketing initiative be integrated with other departments or business functions, such as sales or customer service?
  • How does this campaign consider sustainability or social responsibility, if at all?
  • What tools or technologies will be used to execute and monitor this campaign?
  • Can you discuss the timeline and key milestones for the launch and ongoing management of the campaign?
  • How will the success of this campaign be communicated both internally and externally?
  • How does this marketing strategy consider potential regulatory or compliance issues?
  • How will the campaign be adapted or customized for different markets or segments, if applicable?
  • What lessons from previous campaigns were applied in the development of this strategy?
  • How can we, as a team or as individuals, support the successful implementation of this marketing plan?
  • What inspired the main theme or concept of the book?
  • Can you describe the intended audience for this book, and why they would find it appealing?
  • How did the characters’ development contribute to the overall message of the book?
  • What research was conducted (if any) to ensure the authenticity of the setting, characters, or events?
  • Were there any challenges or ethical considerations in writing or presenting this book?
  • How does this book fit into the current literary landscape or genre? What sets it apart?
  • What do you believe readers will find most engaging or thought-provoking about this book?
  • Can you discuss any symbolic elements or literary devices used in the book and their significance?
  • How does the book’s structure (e.g., point of view, chronological order) contribute to its impact?
  • What were the emotional highs and lows during the writing or reading of this book, and how do they reflect in the story?
  • How does the book address or reflect contemporary social, cultural, or political issues?
  • Were there any parts of the book that were particularly difficult or rewarding to write or read?
  • How does this book relate to the author’s previous works or the evolution of their writing style?
  • What feedback or responses have been received from readers, critics, or peers, and how have they influenced the presentation?
  • What are the main takeaways or lessons you hope readers will gain from this book?
  • How might this book be used in educational settings, and what age group or courses would it be suitable for?
  • Can you discuss the process of editing, publishing, or marketing the book, if applicable?
  • How does the book’s cover art or design reflect its content or attract its target readership?
  • Are there plans for a sequel, adaptation, or related works in the future?
  • How can readers stay engaged with the author or the book’s community, such as through social media, book clubs, or events?
  • How do you feel the presentation went overall, and why?
  • What part of the presentation are you most proud of, and what made it successful?
  • Were there any moments where you felt challenged or uncertain? How did you handle those moments?
  • How did you perceive the audience’s engagement and reaction? Were there any surprises?
  • What feedback have you received from others, and how does it align with your self-assessment?
  • Were there any technical difficulties or unexpected obstacles, and how were they addressed?
  • How well did you manage your time during the presentation? Were there areas that needed more or less focus?
  • How did you feel before the presentation, and how did those feelings change throughout?
  • What strategies did you use to connect with the audience, and how effective were they?
  • Were there any points that you felt were misunderstood or could have been communicated more clearly?
  • How did the preparation process contribute to the overall success or challenges of the presentation?
  • What did you learn about yourself as a communicator or presenter through this experience?
  • Were there any ethical considerations in the content or delivery of the presentation, and how were they handled?
  • How does this presentation align with your long-term goals or professional development?
  • How would you approach this presentation differently if you had to do it again?
  • How has this presentation affected your confidence or skills in public speaking or presenting?
  • What resources or support would have enhanced your preparation or performance?
  • How will you apply what you’ve learned from this presentation to future projects or presentations?
  • How did your understanding of the topic change or deepen through the process of preparing and presenting?
  • What steps will you take to continue improving or building on the skills demonstrated in this presentation?

Cultural sensitivity and awareness of the specific setting are crucial. Remember to:

  • Understand Cultural Norms: familiarize yourself with what’s considered polite or appropriate.
  • Respect Hierarchies: in some cultures, questioning authority might be discouraged.
  • Follow Established Protocols: adhere to the particular rules or customs of the venue or forum.

If you find the response lacking, you may:

  • Ask a Follow-Up: politely request more detail or clarification.
  • Discuss Privately: if it’s complex, consider discussing one-on-one after the session.
  • Respect Differences: recognize that you may have different opinions or interpretations.

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Bea Mariel Saulo

Bea is an editor and writer with a passion for literature and self-improvement. Her ability to combine these two interests enables her to write informative and thought-provoking articles that positively impact society. She enjoys reading stories and listening to music in her spare time.

90 Questions to Ask After a Presentation

Have you ever found yourself mulling over a presentation, wishing you had a treasure trove of questions to uncover the speaker’s insights and wisdom fully?

The right question isn’t just a follow-up; it’s a key that unlocks a deeper connection with the topic. This guide is designed to arm you with a curated collection of inquiries that will enhance your understanding, invite valuable discourse, and help you to apply what you’ve learned.

Let’s dive into the art of the post-presentation conversation and transform every ending slide into an opportunity for continued learning and engagement.

Table of Contents

Clarifying Understanding

  • Could you elaborate on the main thesis of your presentation?
  • What inspired the topic of your presentation?
  • Can you summarize the key points you’d like us to take away?
  • Is there an aspect of your presentation you think deserves deeper understanding?
  • How does your presentation relate to current trends or issues in the field?
  • Were there any counterarguments or challenges to your points that you didn’t mention?
  • In what way does your presentation build on or differ from existing research?
  • Could you clarify the methodology behind your study or findings?
  • How would you explain the significance of your findings to a layman?
  • Is there a particular slide or section you can revisit for further clarification?
  • Could you give an example that illustrates your point about [specific detail]?
  • What were the assumptions underlying your analysis or argument?
  • How do definitions used in your presentation compare to industry-standard ones?
  • Can you clarify the statistical significance of your data?
  • Where might we find more information on this topic if we wish to understand it better?

Digging Deeper into Content

  • Can you expand on how your findings compare to similar studies?
  • How might emerging technologies impact the relevance of your findings in the future?
  • Are there ethical considerations linked to your presentation topic?
  • What are the limitations of your research, and how can they be addressed in the future?
  • How can your research be applied in other fields or industries?
  • In what ways do your findings challenge conventional wisdom?
  • Could you walk us through the process of how you collected your data?
  • How would different theoretical frameworks affect the interpretation of your results?
  • What unanswered questions remain after your presentation?
  • How do you expect the discussion on this topic to evolve in the next five years?
  • What are the implications of your findings for policy or practice?
  • How does cultural context play into the outcomes of your research?
  • Can you discuss any relevant case studies that connect to your presentation?
  • What follow-up research would you recommend based on your work?
  • In your research, what was the most surprising discovery you made?

Gathering Practical Applications

  • How can we apply your research findings in our everyday work?
  • What steps can organizations take to implement your recommendations?
  • Can you suggest tools or resources for applying the insights from your presentation?
  • How might your research influence day-to-day decision-making?
  • Could you provide a real-world example where your findings have been put into practice?
  • What are the short-term and long-term benefits of applying your findings?
  • Who stands to benefit most from the practical applications of your research?
  • Are there certain industries or sectors where your findings are particularly relevant?
  • How will applying your findings change existing systems or processes?
  • What are some common obstacles to implementing your research, and how can they be overcome?
  • How do you recommend staying up-to-date on applications in your research area?
  • Can you suggest partner organizations or groups that are working on applying these concepts?
  • What measures can be put in place to evaluate the efficacy of applying your research?
  • How do you foresee your findings impacting future innovations?
  • What action can individuals take to support the practical application of your research?

Providing Constructive Feedback

  • I found [specific point] very compelling; have you considered expanding on this?
  • Your presentation makes a strong case for [topic]; how could it be enhanced with additional data?
  • I noticed [aspect] during your presentation; could this be a point for further refinement?
  • The visual aids were helpful; have you thought about using more interactive elements?
  • The section on [specific area] was very informative; how can it be made more accessible for beginners in the field?
  • In terms of delivery, would you be open to exploring other formats for your presentation?
  • Your research draws important conclusions; how else might you support them?
  • The pacing of your presentation was effective; could you use a similar approach to emphasize other key points?
  • Given the complexity of your topic, have you considered a follow-up session or workshop?
  • What additional resources or readings would you recommend to enhance our understanding of your topic?
  • Your narrative was engaging; might there be a way to incorporate more storytelling?
  • How might audience participation be facilitated in future presentations to enhance understanding?
  • Were there alternative viewpoints you debated including in your presentation?
  • How did you decide on the structure of your presentation, and what could be changed to improve it?
  • Is there a component of your research that you feel requires more visibility or discussion?

Fostering Engagement and Discussion

  • What questions do you have for the audience that might help further the discussion?
  • How can the audience keep the conversation going outside of this presentation?
  • Are there forums or networks where this topic is actively discussed?
  • Could you propose a thought experiment or hypothetical scenario for us to consider?
  • How can we encourage more interdisciplinary dialogue on this subject?
  • What common misconceptions should we address to clear up understanding?
  • In your opinion, what are the most controversial aspects of your topic?
  • How can we contribute to the body of research or thought around this subject?
  • What role can non-experts play in the discussion of these findings?
  • Can you suggest a way to create a community or collective around this area of research?
  • How would you like to see this information shared or disseminated?
  • What would be an ideal outcome of the discussions that stem from this presentation?
  • Are there collaborative projects or initiatives we could start as a result of your findings?
  • Would you be interested in hosting a series of discussions to delve deeper into certain aspects?
  • How do you suggest we handle differing opinions or debates that arise from your topic?

Exploring Next Steps and Actions

  • Based on your research, what should be our immediate action?
  • What are the first steps to be taken for those who want to delve deeper into this topic?
  • Who should be contacted or involved in further development of this topic?
  • Are there upcoming events or conferences where this topic will be featured?
  • What can we do as individuals to further the research or findings you presented?
  • How can we best track the progress and development in this area?
  • What practical steps would you recommend for a follow-up study or project?
  • Could you outline potential obstacles we might face in advancing this topic and how to overcome them?
  • Are there policy changes or advocacy needed to move this conversation forward?
  • How can the general public be engaged in the action steps related to your findings?
  • What are the most critical areas for immediate exploration or action?
  • Is there a need for collaboration with other disciplines to advance this topic?
  • How can educators integrate your findings into their curriculum or teaching?
  • What funding opportunities should be looked into to support further research?
  • How can we measure the impact of the actions taken as a result of your presentation?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can i provide feedback on the presentation style as well as the content.

Yes, but always aim to be constructive and polite. Feedback on presentation style can be as valuable as feedback on content.

What should I do if my question isn’t answered during the Q&A session?

If time runs out, try approaching the presenter afterward or sending a follow-up email with your question.

How can I encourage a discussion rather than just a Q&A session?

Ask open-ended questions that invite the presenter or audience members to share thoughts and perspectives, thus fostering a more interactive dialogue.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it—a comprehensive guide to quenching your intellectual curiosity and contributing valuable insights after a presentation. From uncovering the nuances of presented content to setting the stage for future collaboration, asking these questions ensures that no stone is left unturned.

Remember, the journey of understanding and exploration doesn’t end with the closing slide; it’s merely the beginning. Now, go forth and turn those questions into conversations that matter!

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Presentation Skills: How to answer those killer questions

Feb 19, 2017 by maurice decastro in communication skills , presentation skills , presentation tips.

woman presenter answering questions

Questions can be a major source of anxiety for many presenters.

In our presentation skills courses we are often asked to help people to answer questions more professionally.

It’s a much bigger issue than many people think.

When we probe a little deeper to understand the issue, our delegates often ask 3 questions:

         1. ‘How do I respond confidently to a question I simply don’t know the answer to?’

         2. ‘What if I don’t understand the question?

         3. ‘How do I deal with hostile questions?’

Our first task is to re-frame the way we think about being asked questions. For many people that presents a significant challenge.

It is often perceived as the moment of truth

We’ve spent hours crafting our presentation to ensure its content rich and helpful. We know our content well and have practiced exhaustively.

We’ve left nothing to chance; so what’s the problem?

It’s as simple as it is frightening. We convince ourselves that our entire reputation depends on how we answer questions.

Unfortunately, there can be a touch of truth behind that limiting belief. That’s why it’s the cause of so much anxiety amongst presenters. 

There’s plenty you can do to answer those challenging questions with confidence and credibility. Before we explore them, try to avoid this mistake.

Don’t answer a question saying:

“That is a really good question and I am glad you asked it.”

Quite often, it’s not a good question? If it’s not a good question the response sounds glib. If it is a good question, does that mean the others aren’t?

How you would feel if you asked the next question and the presenter didn’t acknowledge it as a ‘really good question’.

Just answer the question.

The scary six

Our job as presenters extends beyond crafting a content rich, compelling, presentation. We also have to deliver  it in a way that is congruent with our message. We have to anticipate difficult questions too.

Surround yourself with a small group of people you trust and respect. Share your presentation with them giving each person a specific role. 

Devil’s advocate 

Ask them to be contentious, oppose your view and challenge the strength of your presentation.

 Their role is to criticise you and to create an atmosphere of hostility and distrust.

The energy thief

 Get them to look for a negative aspect of everything you say.

The know all 

Encourage them to actively demonstrate that they know more than you on the topic.

Let them tell you in the most respectful way that they don’t agree with you.

The wanderer  

They demonstrate that they haven’t listened to a word you said.

It’s not an excercise for the faint hearted because it takes courage.

It is, however an investment worth making.

Once the scary six have taken you and your presentation apart, take another look at your presentation.

As painful and as strange as it may sound, remember it’s not real and it won’t happen. You, however, will be prepared for anything.

What exactly should you do with those awkward questions?

Killer question 1  – You don’t know the answer

The old saying ‘honesty is the best policy’, has stood the test of time because it’s true. The moment you try to bluff your way through a question you don’t know the answer to, you lose your credibility.

Try this instead.

Step into the question. In other words, take a step forward towards your audience. If you are seated then lean forward into the table or desk.

Have you noticed how common it is for people to be on the ‘back foot’ when they don’t know the answer to a question?

Your challenge is to be on the front foot and to step into or lean into the question.

Acknowledge the person who asked the question with eye contact. After that, bring the rest of the room into your response with eye contact too.  Once you’ve  moved forward and made eye contact, confidently say, ‘I don’t know, but I’ll find out and let you know’.

You have a few choices at this point. You can:

Ask the audience

“I don’t know the answer to that but I wonder whether anyone else in the audience does.”

“Can anyone help answer that question?”

Share a thought

You may not have the answer but you may have a view. Share a thought or perspective on the question if you have one. 

‘I don’t know, but I’ll find out and let you know. In the meantime I have a thought on the issue. Please keep in mind that it’s not the answer to your question as I’ve already stated I don’t know the answer but here is a thought…

What’s your view on that?’

Ask for a moment

If you need a little time to think about the question, ask for it.

‘I need a few moments to think about that.’

This also take a little courage but remember, you don’t need to rush in to giving an answer.

Give yourself a little time to think. Your audience will respect you for it.

Postpone the answer

It may well be that you know the answer but under pressure the answer has slipped your mind. This is another opportunity to be honest.

‘ Given the importance of the question, I’d like to give you the most complete answer I can. I will need to get back to you in…’

Killer question 2 – You don’t understand the question

I’ve long held the view that most people don’t really listen. I believe that many do something else – they wait to speak.

“Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

That is often the reason why we don’t understand the question. The solution is relatively simple; we need to really listen. That means:

– Listen – to the entire question

– Breathe – don’t leap straight into a response

– Check – ‘Let me just check that I understand you correctly, you are asking me if…’

‘To make sure that I’ve understood you correctly are you asking…’

If you still don’t understand the question, don’t panic.  Take a deep breath and ask them to clarify what they mean. Explain politely that you are still not clear you understand the question.

Killer question 3 – It’s a hostile question

Most audiences are on your side. They are friendly, open and are keen to learn from you. That said, every now and then you may get what we call hostile questions.

They feel hostile because of the emotional charge. The questioner may wave their pen at you challenging or criticizing your perspective.

If this happens, your  job is to remain calm. Depersonalize the attack and avoid being over defensive; easier said than done I know.

Your first priority is to diffuse the emotional charge and to take care of the rest of the audience whilst respecting the questioner.

Treat them the same as any other member of the audience.  Answer their question as honestly and as professionally as you can.

Avoid matching your tone of voice to theirs. Stay calm, professional and polite. Remember that your audience will align with whoever is more courteous and respectful.

Very occasionaly it appears as though the questioner is looking for more of an argument rather than an answer. This is rare but if it happens, you owe it to the rest of your audience to close it down.

You do have some options:

– You can acknowledge their concern and suggest that the two of you meet separately after the presentation to discuss the matter in greater detail.

– If the questioner persists you can calmly assert:

‘I’m afraid I need to move on now.’

It’s possible that you may need to repeat this two or three times.

– A  simple but powerful technique you can use to respectfully regain control of your presentation is to:

That means listening very closely and carefully to the perspective of the questioner.

You have listened closely enough to find something you can sincerely agree with. That does not mean you agree with a point they make even if you don’t. It means you listen intently for something that does make sense to you that you can agree with. When there is such a high emotional charge in a question it’s often fueled by passion and a need to be heard.

The questioner isn’t a bad person. They are simply someone who feels very strongly about what you are saying and may not share your perspective. Once you have listened closely enough to find something you can genuinely agree with, no matter how small, there is only one thing left to do.

You acknowledge that you agree with that element of their argument. Tell them that you understand their perspective or that the specific point they just made makes sense to you. Then you pause and you stay silent.

It’s more than a pause of course, as you are signalling to the questioner that you have nothing else to say on the matter.

You don’t say a word and watch what happens next.

Try to understand the motivation behind the question and tone. Share what you are picking up from them: “It sounds like your main concern is with the process. Is that correct?” This will encourage them to focus on the point they are trying to make. It will  also give you a little  time to consider a response.

One of the many key distinctions between a Mindful Presenter and a mediocre presenter is the ability to handle challenging questions professionally and effectively.

That distinction is achieved through the conscious focus and effort to:

– See questions as an opportunity to learn and engage, rather than be judged

– Listen very carefully to the question

– Lose the ‘headstuff’; in other words not making it all about you

– Pause and breathe

– Repeat the question if necessary and appropriate

– Understand the motivation behind the question

– Respect the questioner and the audience

– Anticipate difficult questions whilst crafting the presentation

– Stay calm, focused and on message

– Close the questions down politely and move on

If you need help answering those killer questions:

– Book yourself onto a powerful  public speaking course .

– Invest in some really good one to one  public speaking coaching .

– Get yourself some excellent  presentation training

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Many otherwise extremely competent and confident presenters will tell you that they really dread the question and answer session of a presentation.

They seek ways to ‘avoid’ difficult questions. But it doesn’t have to be like that.

Dealing with questions in a presentation is a skill which anyone can master.

Perhaps the most important thing to understand is that, as a general rule, if people ask you questions, even hostile ones, it’s not to trip you up but because they genuinely want the answer.

Staying in Control of the Questions

Most people dread the question session because they fear losing control.

A little thought and some early planning can avoid this risk. But you can also avoid it by remembering that any presentation is an information exchange. It is as much for you to hear what people want to know as for them to hear from you.

However, if your presentation starts to get diverted by an interesting question, try saying something like:

“I think we’re getting a bit off topic here. Let’s put that to one side and you and I can chat about it later. Come and find me at the end and we’ll exchange contact details.”
“I’d really like to get on with the presentation, otherwise I may not have time to finish, but let’s talk about this later.”

Setting out some Ground Rules

At the start of your presentation, you should make it clear whether and when you would prefer to deal with questions - as you go along or at the end of the presentation.

Some speakers prefer questions to be raised as they arise during the presentation. The advantage of this approach is that any misunderstandings can be dealt with immediately. However, there is also a danger that the question will disrupt or distract the speaker, or that questions are raised that would have been covered later in the presentation.

Top tip! Categorising Questions

If you like to deal with questions as they arise, but you are concerned about the pitfalls, there is an easy way to handle this. In your introduction, explain that there are three types of questions:

  • The sort that seeks clarification of something that has just been said – you will answer those immediately;
  • The sort that asks a related question about something that you plan to cover later – you will answer those later in the presentation; and
  • The sort that is best dealt with offline because most of the audience probably won’t be interested, or it’s outside the topic of the presentation – you will make a note of the question and come back to the questioner afterwards.

When a Type 2 or 3 question is asked, you can then say something like:

“ That’s a Type 2 question, so I’ll park that for now, and cover it later. If you don’t think I’ve covered it by the end, remind me, and I’ll go over it.”

Other speakers prefer to deal with questions at the end of the presentation.

If you prefer this approach, ensure that you set aside sufficient time for questions but also limit the amount of time available. The amount of time will depend on the type of presentation you are giving but usually 10 minutes of question time should be sufficient.

The big advantage of this approach is that if you talk too quickly, you will simply have a longer question session: a big incentive to talk slowly and carefully, and make sure that your audience understands everything as you go.

You should not close the presentation with the question and answer session.

When you have finished answering questions, make sure that you have the last word with a strong assertion of your main message(s).

In other words, you can thank the audience for their questions and then summarise once again the main point or points that your presentation was designed to communicate.

An Introduction to Question Sessions

The main rule of question sessions is to treat your audience with the respect you would like to have shown to you, and answer their questions directly and honestly.

If they have asked a question, it is because they want to know the answer.

It is very unlikely that anyone will ask a question solely to trip you up, although this does happen.

If a question is provocative, answer it directly. Never be rude to the questioner or show you are upset. Do not compromise yourself but maintain your point of view and never lose your temper.

This tactic can be difficult to maintain but the key is being assertive.

Visit our section on assertiveness to learn some more tips, start with: Assertiveness - An Introduction .

Managing Questions

Listen carefully to the question and, if the audience is large, repeat it to ensure everyone in the audience has heard.

If you’re not sure you understood correctly, paraphrase it back to the questioner and check that you have it right. Answer briefly and to the point.

If you do not know the answer, then say so and offer to find out. Then ensure that you follow up . To be able to respond, you will need the questioner’s name and email address, so make sure that you speak to them before they or you leave.

“ I don’t know ” is a very acceptable answer to some difficult questions and it is much more acceptable than stumbling through an answer or making something up. “ I don’t know, but I’ll find out and let you know ” is even more acceptable.

Relax and do not feel as if you have to know everything. If you don’t know it is better to be honest than to try to pretend.

Trust takes a long time to build up, but it can be lost in moments, and audiences will almost always know when you are not being genuine.

An Alternative Tactic: Involving your Audience

If you are speaking to a well-informed audience, a professional group for example , and the question is a fairly general one to which you do not know the answer, consider asking the room if anyone else would like to respond. You may have the world expert on that subject sitting there who would be delighted to share their expertise with you all. If you have noticed someone in particular, you can even say:

“ I noticed that Professor X is in the room, so I wonder if he would like to comment on that to save me displaying my ignorance ”
“ My colleague over there is more familiar with that area than I am so, while I don’t want to put him on the spot, maybe he would be prepared to shed some light on this? ”

Most people will be fine with that approach, especially if they really do know more about it than you, and it will mean that the room gets a much better response. Yes, you’re the one standing at the front, but you don’t know everything.

You may also find our general pages on questioning useful see Questioning and Question Types .

Continue to: Coping with Presentation Nerves Managing the Presentation Event

See Also: Preparing for a Presentation | Organising the Material Deciding the Presentation Method Working with Visual Aids

  • Effective Presentation Skills Tutorial
  • Handling Questions and Answers

the presentation with questions

At the end of your presentation, if it is appropriate for the type of presentation, solicit questions from the audience.

Responding to Audience Questions

When someone is asking a question, make eye contact with that person, listen positively, and acknowledge by saying "thank you for that question," or say "that is an excellent question" or "that is an important question".

If the audience is in a large room and cannot hear each other's questions, repeat the question loudly for everyone to hear, before answering it.

If you know the answer to the question, respond appropriately and briefly so you can take more questions and not spend too much time on one question.

Effective Response to Question

This video clip is an example of a presenter effectively responding to an audience member's question .

Ineffective Response to Question

This video clip is an example of a presenter ineffectively responding to an audience member's question .

If the question is not relevant to the presentation, say something like, "I am really sorry that question is outside the scope of this presentation, but I will be happy to stay after the presentation and discuss it with you."

Effective Response to Off-topic Question

This video clip is an example of a presenter effectively responding to an off-topic question or one in which he or she does not know the answer .

Inappropriate Response to Off-topic Question

This video clip is an example of a presenter inappropriately responding to an off-topic question or one in which he or she does not know the answer .

If time is running out for answering all of the questions, say, "I am sorry. I am running out of time, but I will take one last question, and then I will be available at the end to answer any remaining questions."

If you do not know the answer to a question say, "That is an interesting question, and I will have to get back to you later on that" or ask the audience "Can someone help me with this?" or be gracious and acknowledge you do not know the answer at that time.

If an audience member criticizes or attacks what you had covered in your presentation, do not attack back, but separate the valid criticism from the personal attack, and respond to the criticism appropriately.

Some things not to do during the question and answer period:

  • Shuffling papers or technology and not making eye contact with the questioner
  • Belittling the questioner
  • Calling those who want to ask questions by their physical characteristics
  • Not taking questions in the sequence they are asked, but focusing on certain people or a side of the room

Asking Good Questions

If you are in the audience, know also how to ask good questions to indicate that you are following the presentation.

You can ask some general questions about any topic, and you may be genuinely curious about some things presented.

  • What were the most challenging aspects, or what surprised you the most, in conducting this project?
  • Why did you choose this particular methodology or argument instead of another one?
  • How did you collect the data? Were there any problems in collecting data? What was the sample size?
  • How did you validate your work? Did you validate with a real problem or situation?
  • What are some of the limitations of your work?
  • What recommendations do you have for further exploration in this project?

Learning to ask good questions at the end of a presentation demonstrates your active participation.

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Guide for Handling Questions after a Presentation

October 19, 2017 - Dom Barnard

The questions at the end of a presentation can be terrifying for many speakers as they can’t be controlled and are hard to prepare for. However, questions form an important part of the presentation for the whole audience as they allow for clarification and consolidation of learning.

The presenter can enhance the usefulness of the question and answer session by treating it as a formal part of the presentation that requires as much careful planning and control as the delivery of the core material.

Identify possible questions and scope in your preparation

The background work that you undertook whilst planning your presentation is the key to handling questions effectively and understanding what  type of audience  you’ll be faced with. If you have defined a focus for your presentation and have explored this thoroughly in your research and planning, you are more likely to be able to confidently respond to questions.

When planning your presentation, you will need to prepare prompts for questions that are open and straightforward, for example saying “That’s the end of my presentation. I’ll be taking questions for the next 10 minutes”.

You might also want to define topics for discussion before taking questions, by stating the areas you’re willing to field questions in. Your preparation will help you identify topics you are not confident with and want to avoid in the questioning.

Prepare for questions after the presentation

Set some rules for asking questions

At the start of your presentation, make it clear when you would prefer to deal with questions – as you go along or at the end of the presentation.

Some speakers prefer questions to be raised as they arise during the presentation. The advantage of this approach is that any misunderstandings can be dealt with immediately. However, there is also a danger that the question will disrupt or distract the speaker, or that questions are raised that would have been covered later in the presentation.

If you leave questions until the end, plan to leave plenty of time for questions so that the audience doesn’t feel rushed.

Framework for responding to questions

Answering questions under pressure can make you say things you shouldn’t have – the nerves can force you to give an inappropriate response. In your panic you might have misinterpreted the question or given away company information that was sensitive. Use the following framework to help you respond effectively to your audience.

Practice answering AI-generated questions on your speech or presentation with  VirtualSpeech .

1. Listen to the whole question

You don’t have to answer a question immediately. Pause for a few seconds,  actively listen  to all parts of the question and think about the best way to answer.

Frequently questions can change direction at the last moment, particularly if the questioner is thinking on their feet. This can throw you if you have already started to prepare an answer. Remember that questioners will frequently try to make a point whilst asking their question – it’s therefore important to both hear the content of the question and try to decipher the questioner’s intention.

2. Understand the context

If you are worried that you haven’t understood a question, ask them to clarify what they mean. Check for confirmation by paraphrasing the question back to the questioner – “You want me to list the improvements of X?”.

3. Involve the whole audience

It is important to remember that even though you are taking a question from one member of the audience, you are still responsible for the interest of the other audience members. This is particularly important in large groups as the audience will become bored if the presentation descends into a series of one-to-one discussions.

To involve the rest of the audience, make sure the whole audience has heard and understood the question by repeating it or paraphrasing it to the audience.

4. Respond concisely

When you reply to a question, direct your answer to both the questioner and other members of the audience. Try to keep your responses as focused as possible, leaving space for other questions. To avoid going into too much detail, check back with the questioner to see if you have answered their query – “Does that answer your question in enough detail?”.

We’ll cover different ways to respond in a later section.

5. Allow follow-up questions via email

You can also encourage your audience to ask questions after the event has finished by providing your email address. This shows a high level of respect for your audience and implies that the topic still has much further scope for enquiry.

Two good resources for handling questions

  • What’s the art of answering a tricky question?
  • Dodging the Question

Practice Answering Questions

Practice answering questions after your presentation using a 4 step process. Learn More

Options for answering the question

There are five possible choices depending on how well you understand and can answer the question. It’s okay to say that you don’t know the answer to something. This can add to your credibility instead of trying to waffle through an answer you don’t really know.

If you have a good answer for the question from the audience, go ahead and answer it in a short and clear message.

Ask a question back the audience member, such as “Can you clarify what you mean by that”. You can also attack the question if it is not related to the issue, factually inaccurate, personal or based on false assumptions. Be careful with this method.

Ask the question back to the audience or pass it to another panel member if possible. If suitable, another technique is to imply the question has been asked already, with you stating you don’t want to cover old ground.

Tell the audience member you will talk to them after the event. This gives you more time to think of a good answer and there is less pressure to give a perfect answer.

Or mention that that point is coming up in a slide.

This involves answering the question but changing the subject. You can also give a partial answer or give a negative answer, saying that something else will happen instead.

Avoid answering questions that fall outside of the remit of your talk: “I’m afraid that really falls outside of my objectives for today’s presentation. Perhaps we can resume discussion of that particular point later?”

Framework for handling questions after a presentation

Diagram Explained : Once you receive a question, you’ll have a few moments to think about it and reframe it in a way that makes sense to you. This will give you five choices on how to react – you can answer, reflect, deflect, defer or change the scope of the question. Once you’ve answered concisely, you can then follow up to check if the person asking the question is satisfied and then continue with the presentation.

Strategies to use when struggling to answer

Here are some strategies to use when you are struggling to answer the question posed to you. For more information, read this article on  Dodging the Question .

  • Acknowledge the question without answering it – “That’s a good question, let’s consider the impact by looking at…”
  • The question fails to tackle the important issue.
  • The question is based on a false assumption.
  • The question is factually inaccurate.
  • The question is too personal or objectionable.
  • Decline to answer. Refuse to answer on the basis that it is not your area of responsibility or it is sensitive company information – “You will have to ask [name] because I wasn’t involved in that particular project.”
  • Partial answer
  • Start to answer but change the subject
  • Negative answer. You state what won’t happen instead of what will happen
  • Answer a similar question
  • State or imply the question has already been answered – “We’ve already covered that topic”

Things to avoid

When handling questions and answers, you will still need to be as professional as you have been for the main delivery of your presentation. There are some common dangers to avoid.

Answering the question you wished you’d been asked

A common trick played by politicians, this strategy ignores the precise nature of the question and uses a predetermined answer to the broad topic area. If handled poorly, this technique is very obvious to the audience and frustrating to the questioner.

Giving a lengthy response

This is the process whereby you make a lengthy response, including all the information you’d left out in planning the main presentation. Your unplanned response will be unstructured and rambling, so keep things focused and brief. If you find yourself rambling, ask them to talk to you after.

Avoid giving a lengthy response to questions after your speech

Passing the blame

Passing the blame to others comes across as weak and evasive. If an idea from the audience is a good one, acknowledge its value. If it isn’t, make a polite rebuttal and move on.

Defensive answers

Occasionally, questions can really put you on the spot, but it is important to remain calm and in control. An aggressive or defensive reply will be seen as weakness on your part and will spoil the effect of an otherwise successful presentation.

Handling difficult questions

It is important not to start responding to a difficult question before you have thought about the answer. Repeating the question and asking for clarification will help create some space for your thoughts.

Sometimes you will need to think about a question for a moment before responding. You may be able to buy a little bit of thinking time to help focus your response. Useful strategies include searching for an appropriate visual aid to help focus your response or simply pausing for a moment or two to think. For even more time, suggest that you’ll come back to the topic later (but don’t forget to do this).

7 myths when answering tough questions during presentations

Sometimes questions are too difficult to answer. Don’t worry about admitting that you don’t know something or haven’t considered an alternative approach. An enthusiastic “That’s an interesting idea, I’d not thought of that” is much more positive than a mumbled “I don’t know ”. Remember that a presentation is a two-way process and it is important to show that you are learning from your audience as well.

Finally, you can come across a questioner who disagrees strongly with your argument. Although this can feel very awkward, remember that you are still responsible for the whole audience and that you cannot allocate all of your question time to one individual.

If you feel that you have answered the initial question, announce that you will move on and suggest that you might continue discussion after the presentation. If the questioner persists, assert your position calmly by saying “I’m afraid I need to move on”.

You can read more on this topic here:  Responding to questions effectively (PDF)

Speaking about Presenting

8 tips for encouraging questions in your presentation

by Olivia Mitchell | 8 comments

the presentation with questions

Most of us would like people in the audience to ask questions. A lively Q&A session is stimulating and engaging for the audience. But sometimes you ask for questions, and you’re just met with blank gazes back from your audience. It’s a let-down and your presentation ends on a sour note.

Questions from the audience are like young fragile seedlings – they need nurturing. Consider when you’re in the audience – what stages do you have to mentally go through in order to ask a question? It might go something like this:

questions-all-stages

So as the presenter, you need to nurture your audience’s questions through these four stages. Here are 8 tips to help make them through:

1. Pitch your presentation at the right level for your audience

The first stage of questions is birth – they have to be born in your audience’s mind. If your presentation is too simple for the level of knowledge in your audience – it’s all material they’ve covered before – they won’t have any questions. Conversly, if it’s too complicated for them, they’ll turn off rather than risk asking a question which might make them look stupid.

2. Don’t cover every aspect of your topic in the presentation

If you cover everything there is to know on the topic – you won’t leave room for questions. So don’t be exhaustive in your coverage.

3. Let your audience know you would like questions and when to ask them

Near the beginning of your presentation let your audience know that you welcome questions. Then let them know when to ask them. There are a number of options:

Take questions throughout your presentation

Tell people they can interrupt you throughout the presentation to ask questions as they come to mind. This has several benefits:

  • people won’t have to remember their question till later
  • if they’re uncertain about something they can get that clarified at the time
  • questions on a particular issue are dealt with at the same time that you’re discussing that issue.

The downside to this strategy is that it can take you off track if people ask irrelevant questions or questions that you’re going to cover later in the presentation. If you find it tricky to get back into the flow of your presentation after an interruption it may not be the best strategy for you. Finally, it can throw the timing of your presentation if people ask a lot of questions on a particular issue. This strategy is best used in longer presentations and training courses where timing is less critical.

Take questions at defined points of your presentation

Tell people you will have an opportunity for questions after you’ve finished each part of your presentation. This option is a useful halfway point between having questions throughout and leaving them till the end of the presentation. You can also decide how long to take questions for during each break in your presentation, and so control the timing better.

4. Let them ask a question as soon as they have one

If you’re serious about ensuring that people get their questions answered, invite people to interrupt you and ask their question. It’s the only way to ensure this. That’s when the question is burning for them. The longer you make people wait, the less likely they are to remember it. Once you’ve moved onto a new topic, their question will seem less relevant. Joey Asher from Talking Points blog says:

Questions aren’t to be feared. They’re to be embraced.  There’s no better way to connect with an audience than to allow them free rein to ask as many questions as they want.

5. Invite people to write down their questions as they think of them

If you don’t want to take questions throughout, you can help people remember their questions by suggesting that they write them down.

6. Validate every question

It takes courage to ask a question. It’s public speaking – just not from the front of the room. People are held back by wondering if their question is stupid or did they miss something and you already answered it. So you need to do your bit to make it a safe environment for people to ask questions. Do that by responding warmly to all questions that are asked – even if the question is stupid or you had already covered it. I don’t recommend saying “Good question”. It’s become a cliche which is often used when the presenter can’t immediately think of the answer.

7. Have people discuss in pairs any questions they may have

If your audience seems a little shy, give them an opportunity to discuss their questions with one other person before they ask them in front of the whole of the audience. Here’s how do do this:

“I’m going to ask for questions in a moment. Please turn to the person next to you and discuss together any questions you have. Then I’ll answer those questions.”

This has several benefits:

  • It gives people the opportunity to try out their question in front of one person before risking humiliation in front of the whole audience.
  • Any questions that are answered by material you’ve already covered can be answered by their partner.
  • It gives people the opportunity to rehearse and fine-tune their question so that it will be shorter and clearer when they ask you.

8. Answer questions clearly and succinctly

If you answer every question with a long-winded and incoherent ramble, people are going to be reluctant to ask you another one. They’ll conclude they’re unlikely to get a useful answer from you. Nor do they want to subject the rest of the audience to another ramble.

More resources on other blogs

Five ways to make presentations Q&A friendly from Joey Asher at Talking Points. He also recommends validating every question:

Smiling at the questioner is like rewarding a dog for sitting on command.  Once rewarded, the chances are the audience will ask more.

John Windsor has a useful post Making the most of a Q&A session . He stresses anticipating the questions that might be asked. And also advises that you recap and conclude your presentation after the Q&A session. That provides a stronger ending to your presentation than just lettting questions peter out.

Andrew Dlugan discusses Leading the perfect Q&A . This covers all elements of the Q&A session from both the audience’s point of view and the presenters.

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Simon Raybould

Hi again Olivia – just seen this following someone else’s link. It’s something I blogged about myself a while ago – and in retrospect I probably over-stated my case: http://www.curved-vision.co.uk/presentation-skills-blog/2008/03/29/questions-or-not/

To me, it’s important to differentiate between two types of question. Firstly, you’ve got questions of fact (“Did you say 200%?”) which seem to me to be necessary at any point because otherwise people won’t be able to make much of anything you say after that.

Secondly though, there are questions of “application” for lack of a better term. Things like “So in my position, would it make sense to….?”. I love these questions as it shows the audience has bitten what I’ve said and is running with it. My instinct is that these questions should only surface at the end (in fact if the presentation is well structured this is probably the only place it CAN surface!).

Emma

And, for the “during the presentation so askers don’t forget”, I’ve also seen Twitter used effectively – either as a displayed backchannel – so that the whole audience can see, or just visible to those who have the necessary hardware. Quite often, small questions can be answered by someone else in the audience (like whispering to the person next to you – only there are lots of people next to you!), or the presenter/room host can skim them at the end & answer the key ones.

Olivia Mitchell

Hi Emma Yes, that’s a great use of the backchannel. Thank you for adding it to this post. Olivia

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  • Best Presentation Tips | Speaking about Presenting: Presentation Tips from Olivia Mitchell - [...] 8 tips for encouraging questions in your presentation [...]
  • How to Present While People are Twittering — Pistachio - [...] with asking the audience for “out-loud” questions as well. It’s good practice to stop for questions throughout your presentation…
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The Art of Question & Answer: Handling Audience Questions Like a Pro

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If you have ever given a presentation , you might know how witty and challenging a question-and-answer session can get. Not knowing the answer to a question can be quite unnerving and leave a bad impression even after a fabulous presentation. This blog will help you bridge that gap before your next presentation. We will talk about how to maintain your composure as you deal with questions and also the different types of difficult questions one can face.

Why should I have a Question-and-answer session?

Having a Question and Answer (Q&A) session serves multiple valuable purposes. It transforms one-sided communication into a two-way exchange, turning lectures or speeches into engaging discussions. This interaction not only enhances audience engagement but also promotes collaboration and the collective building of knowledge. Historically, great questions have driven innovation and change, such as Isaac Newton’s curiosity about gravity. During a Q&A , encouraging audience participation by inviting questions and making eye contact with various attendees creates a sense of connection and keeps the session lively, much like a talk show host engaging their audience. 

Including a question and answer (Q&A) session after your presentation holds numerous advantages and is a pivotal aspect of engaging with your audience effectively.

Let’s delve into these reasons:

1. audience engagement and participation: .

Inviting questions at the end of your presentation allows your audience to actively participate, transforming your session into an interactive experience. As Albert Einstein aptly put it, “The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

2. Addressing Confusion and Skepticism:

 Your presentation might leave some audience members perplexed or unconvinced. Before you begin, it’s vital to gauge your audience’s understanding. As Aristotle noted, “Rhetoric may be defined as the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion.” Q&A provides an excellent opportunity to clarify doubts and bolster your argument.

3. Expanding on Your Message: 

Often, time constraints force you to condense crucial information during your presentation. Q&A, however, empowers you to elaborate on your points, share practical examples, and address any opposition, creating a more comprehensive understanding. This aligns with Robert Frost’s sentiment: “Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.”

4. Fostering Natural Interaction: 

Effective public speaking thrives on interaction. Audiences seek speakers who communicate openly and naturally. Q&A brings a conversational and relatable dimension to your presentation. As Maya Angelou wisely said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

5. Challenging Your Expertise: 

The unpredictability of Q&A keeps you on your toes. You must be well-prepared and nimble to handle a variety of questions and objections. Eleanor Roosevelt’s words resonate: “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face.”

How do you answer Questions effectively?

Handling a question-and-answer session effectively requires preparation, communication skills, and adaptability. Whether you’re conducting a Q&A session as a speaker, presenter, or moderator, here are some tips to help you manage it effectively:

1. Preparation is Key:

Know your audience: Research your audience’s demographics, interests, and knowledge level. Tailor your responses to their needs and expectations. Imagine you’re hosting a Q&A session about pets. Knowing your audience means finding out if they’re mostly cat lovers, dog enthusiasts, or perhaps reptile fans. This helps you tailor your answers to their specific interests, like offering dog training tips for dog lovers and habitat ideas for reptile enthusiasts.

Anticipate questions: Develop a list of potential questions that might arise during the session. This can help you prepare concise and informative answers. If you’re giving a presentation about a superhero movie, anticipate questions like “Who’s the main villain?” or “What are the special powers of the hero?” Prepare concise answers to these common questions to keep the audience engaged.

Review your material: Revisit your presentation or discussion content before the Q&A session. This will help you recall key points and examples that may be relevant to questions. For Ex: You’re a teacher conducting a Q&A after a science class. Before the session, review your notes on the periodic table. This ensures that when a student asks, “What are the noble gases?” you can confidently explain their properties.

2. Set Expectations:

Clearly explain how the Q&A session will be structured. For example, inform the audience whether questions will be taken throughout the session or only at the end. Mention any time constraints.

Let the audience know if you have topics you’d like to cover or all questions are welcome. 

For example: Think of a cooking class where you’re the instructor. Before starting, inform your students that they can ask questions anytime during the class. This sets the expectation that it’s an interactive learning experience.

3. Active Listening:

Give the questioner your full attention. Make eye contact, nod to acknowledge understanding, and avoid interrupting.

Repeat or rephrase the question if needed to ensure clarity and show that you are actively engaged with the questioner.

Imagine you’re a detective in a mystery novel. When a witness asks, “Did you see the suspect?”, listen attentively, nod to acknowledge, and ask follow-up questions to gather all the details. This demonstrates active listening.

4. Take a pause

Before answering any question there is a key aspect that makes you look smart and composed- “The Pause.” The Pause is where you gather your thoughts and prepare your answer in a gist. You decide how to answer the question and tackle it swiftly. If you perhaps don’t know the answer, what is the best way to say you will get back with an answer, and so on? You can get a firm grip on your audience as they wait for you to speak and then speak with utmost clarity, that is the power of Pauses. 

5. Be Concise and Clear:

Answer each question briefly and directly. Avoid going off on tangents or providing excessive background information.

Use plain language and avoid jargon that might confuse the audience. Suppose you’re explaining how to play a video game. Instead of going into a lengthy backstory, say, “To win, you must collect all the magical crystals and defeat the dragon boss.” This clear and concise explanation keeps players engaged.

6. Stay Calm and Confident:

If you don’t know the answer to a question, admit it gracefully. Offer to research or follow up later, and don’t try to bluff your way through.

Maintain a calm and composed demeanor even in the face of challenging or critical questions. Focus on addressing the question, not the tone.

This is also where your preparation becomes your backbone and provides you the confidence to deal with your audience. 

Also, I want you to remember that knowledge is very vast- The more you gain knowledge the more you realize how little you know! Do not worry about admitting that you don’t know an answer, you can provide whatever information you have and later get back to them when you do find one.

7. Manage Time:

Allocate a specific amount of time for the Q&A session and communicate this at the outset. Stick to the schedule to ensure you cover all planned topics. If necessary, prioritize questions based on relevance or importance.

Think of a soccer coach during a practice session. Allocate specific time for different drills and stick to the schedule. This ensures that all aspects of the game are covered within the session.

8. Field Diverse Questions:

Encourage a wide range of questions, including those that challenge your viewpoint or prompt discussion. This diversity can lead to more engaging and informative sessions.

For Example: In a book club discussion, encourage members to ask questions about various aspects of the book, from plot details to character motivations. This diversity of questions leads to a more engaging conversation.

9. Moderate Effectively:

As someone who has to give direction to the discussion, try to maintain control of the session and ensure questions are relevant to the topic and audience. Politely redirect or filter out off-topic or inappropriate questions.

Give everyone a chance to ask questions, and manage time to allow for a variety of voices to be heard.

Pretend you’re a radio DJ taking calls from listeners. If someone goes off-topic, gently steer the conversation back to the music or topic of the show to maintain a cohesive experience.

10. Encourage Feedback:

After the Q&A, ask the audience for feedback on the session’s effectiveness. This can help you improve future sessions and tailor them to the audience’s needs. 

Example: After a group art project, ask each participant what they liked and what could be improved. This feedback helps everyone learn from the experience and create better art in the future.

11. Follow-Up:

If you promised to provide additional information or research an answer, do so promptly after the session. This demonstrates your commitment to addressing the audience’s needs.

12. Reflect and Improve:

After each session, take time to analyze what went well and what could be improved. Consider seeking feedback from colleagues or mentors to refine your Q&A skills for future engagements.

Can I answer a Question with a Question?

Many a time we think is it disrespectful to answer a question with a question, or perhaps even condescending? However, answering a question with a question can be an effective communication technique when used thoughtfully, but it’s essential to be mindful of the context and tone to avoid coming across as disrespectful or condescending. 

Consider, for instance, a scenario where someone asks, “Do you know where my keys are?” Responding with, “Have you checked your coat pocket?” instead of a direct “yes” or “no” can be helpful. However, if someone in a team meeting asks, “How do we solve this problem?” replying with, “Well, what solutions have you considered?” can encourage collaborative problem-solving. So, while answering a question with a question can be a valuable tool for prompting critical thinking or guiding discussions, it’s crucial to gauge the situation and intent to ensure it’s used appropriately.

Types of Difficult Questions:

Often times in presentations we don’t get softball questions that are easy to handle but rather some sort of pushback. The audience tries to gauge your authenticity or simply disagrees with you. These are what we call Difficult questions. They are inquiries that pose challenges beyond their surface. They require careful consideration, provoke thought, or test one’s knowledge, often demanding more than a simple yes or no answer. Handling difficult questions effectively is a skill that involves not only providing accurate responses but also managing the dynamics of the discussion and the emotions of those asking. In this exploration, we’ll delve deeper into these challenging types of questions, dissect their nuances, and offer strategies for responding adeptly and constructively.

1. When You Don’t Know the Answer:

  • Challenge: It’s common to face questions to which you don’t have an immediate answer, especially in complex or unfamiliar topics.
  • Example: In a technical presentation, someone asks a highly technical question beyond your expertise.
  • Admit it gracefully: Acknowledge that you don’t have the answer, but express your willingness to find it.
  • Offer a partial answer: Share what you do know or suggest possible resources or experts to consult.
  • Follow up: Make a commitment to research and provide a comprehensive response after the session.

2. Too Many Questions at the Same Time (Machine Gun Questioning):

  • Challenge: Some audience members may bombard you with multiple questions all at once, making it difficult to respond coherently.
  • Example: An audience member asks, “How does this technology work, and what are its applications? Can you explain its impact on the industry?”
  • Politely request clarification: Ask the person to specify which question they’d like you to address first.
  • Address one question at a time: Break down the multiple questions into individual responses to maintain clarity.
  • Control the pace: Politely request that questions be asked one at a time to facilitate a more organized discussion.

3. Audience Member Makes a Statement and Tries to Take Over:

  • Challenge: Some individuals may attempt to dominate the Q&A session by making lengthy statements or challenging your expertise.
  • Example: An audience member insists on sharing their own knowledge and experience, seemingly to undermine your credibility.
  • Acknowledge their input: Politely thank them for their perspective and acknowledge their knowledge.
  • Redirect the focus: Gently guide the conversation back to the topic or the question at hand.
  • Set boundaries: Establish ground rules for the Q&A session at the beginning, emphasizing that questions should be concise and relevant.

4. Emotional Questions Driven by Anger:

  • Challenge: Emotionally charged questions, often stemming from anger or frustration, can be challenging to handle without escalating tension.
  • Example: An audience member confronts you with anger about a controversial topic you’re discussing.
  • Stay calm and empathetic: Maintain composure, listen attentively, and acknowledge the person’s emotions.
  • Avoid confrontation: Refrain from responding with defensiveness or aggression, as it can escalate the situation.
  • Reframe the question: Politely ask the person to rephrase their question in a more constructive and specific manner.

5. Off-Topic Questions:

  • Challenge: Sometimes, audience members ask questions that are unrelated to the topic of your presentation or discussion.
  • Example: In a business presentation on marketing strategies, someone asks about your personal hobbies.
  • Politely redirect: Acknowledge the question but gently steer the conversation back to the main topic.
  • Offer to discuss later: Suggest discussing off-topic questions after the session to avoid derailing the current discussion.

6. Provocative Questions:

  • Challenge: These questions are designed to provoke a reaction or create controversy.
  • Example: During a political debate, someone asks a loaded question aimed at stirring up emotions rather than seeking a constructive answer.
  • Stay composed: Maintain a calm and respectful demeanor when responding, regardless of the provocation.
  • Address the core issue: Focus on the underlying topic or concern within the provocative question rather than getting drawn into the emotional aspect.

7. Incomprehensible Questions:

  • Challenge: Some questions are poorly phrased or unclear, making it challenging to discern the intent behind them.
  • Example: An audience member asks a question with convoluted language and vague references.
  • Seek clarification: Politely ask the person to rephrase or clarify their question to ensure you understand it correctly.
  • Paraphrase and respond: Restate what you believe the question is about, and answer based on your interpretation. The person can then confirm or correct your understanding.

8. Condescending Questions:

  • Challenge: These questions are posed in a belittling or patronizing manner, often implying that the person asking believes they know better.
  • Example: An audience member asks, “Do you even understand the basics of this topic?”
  • Maintain professionalism: Respond with professionalism and confidence, avoiding any temptation to match the condescension.
  • Address the question’s substance: Focus on providing a well-informed and concise response to demonstrate your expertise.

9. Overly Technical Questions:

  • Challenge: In technical or specialized discussions, questions may become overly complex, making it challenging for a broader audience to follow.
  • Example: A highly technical question filled with industry-specific jargon is asked in a general audience setting.
  • Simplify the response: Offer a simplified explanation or analogy to make the answer accessible to a broader audience.
  • Offer follow-up resources: Suggest additional reading or resources for those interested in delving deeper into the technical details.

Handling these challenging question scenarios effectively requires a combination of good communication skills, patience, and tact. Remember that the goal is to maintain a productive and respectful dialogue with your audience while addressing their concerns and inquiries.

People Also Ask:

Why is it important to know how to take the audience’s questions when you are presenting.

It is crucial to know how to handle audience questions when presenting for several reasons. Firstly, audience questions signify engagement and interest in your topic, making it an opportunity to further connect with your audience and demonstrate your expertise. Secondly, addressing questions allows you to clarify any misunderstandings or provide additional context, ensuring that your message is well-received and understood. Moreover, handling questions effectively helps you maintain control over the presentation’s flow, ensuring that it stays on track and doesn’t deviate too far from your intended message. Lastly, audience questions can provide valuable feedback, enabling you to gauge the audience’s comprehension and adapt your presentation in real time if necessary, leading to a more successful and impactful presentation overall.

Who is responsible for answering questions from the audience at the time of the presentation?

The responsibility for answering questions from the audience during a presentation primarily falls on the presenter (most likely You). You’re the one who’s been preparing and practicing your presentation for weeks, months, or maybe even years. You’re the guru on the stage, the oracle of information. When those curious souls in the audience raise their hands or type away with their burning questions, it’s your time to shine. You get to flex your brain muscles and give them answers that will make their heads spin (in a good way, of course). It’s your duty to facilitate a productive Q&A session by actively listening to each question, providing thoughtful and accurate responses, and ensuring that the discussion remains relevant to the topic at hand. However, in some cases, especially during larger presentations or panel discussions, a moderator or facilitator may assist in managing the question-and-answer

In conclusion, mastering the art of Q&A, and handling audience questions like a pro, is a skill that can transform any presentation, discussion, or public speaking engagement. By understanding the diverse types of questions that may arise and adopting effective strategies to address them, you can create an interactive and engaging dialogue with your audience. From riddles that stimulate creativity to emotionally charged inquiries that demand empathy, each question offers a unique opportunity to connect, educate, and inspire. 

Remember, the key to success lies in active listening, clear communication, and maintaining composure, even in the face of challenging questions. Whether you’re a speaker, presenter, moderator, or simply someone engaged in a meaningful conversation, the ability to navigate difficult questions with finesse not only enhances your credibility but also fosters a more enriching and enlightening exchange of ideas. So, embrace the art of Q&A, and with practice and patience, you’ll continue to refine this valuable skill, ensuring that your interactions with your audience are both memorable and impactful.

To learn more about how to conduct presentations and improve your communication skills in the workplace you can try our coaching program here .

Hrideep Barot

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Tress Academic

Conference speaker answering questions from audience.

#30: Questions from the audience you should be prepared to answer

November 5, 2019 by Tress Academic

You can never know the exact questions that the audience will ask after you have finished a conference presentation. This uncertainty can cause additional stress for you, and put you on edge during your presentation. There are, however, a few questions you can assume that someone from your audience might ask. So why not prepare yourself for these questions just in case? We’ll tell you which type of questions these are, and how you can easily prepare yourself for them. Having answers ready for these standard questions will make the Q&A part so much easier for you and alleviate unnecessary stress on the big day.

When we recently held our course “How to present at international scientific conferences” at a Swiss university, we discussed the Q&A part that comes right after a conference presentation with the participants. They spoke about their experiences at conferences where they presented their research, and everything that made it especially difficult for them. The presentations were always a big cause of stress and anxiety for them – is it for you as well? If so, we have another post from the Smart Academics Blog that will help you to deal with being nervous, see #3: “How to cope with stage fright?” .

If you are not an experienced presenter, it is a pretty big thing to go out and stand in front of a large crowd of colleagues from your field and tell them about your work. What our course participants were most scared of – even more than giving the talk – was the moment after they had delivered their presentation and the session chair opened the floor for questions. This was the moment where the unexpected could happen because they didn’t know what the questions would be. The biggest fear in the moment was to receive questions that they cannot answer or that make them look inexperienced, ignorant or worse! 

We totally understand this fear. Imagine you were well-prepared for a talk and had a good feeling throughout the presentation,  but the questions from the audience could spoil the good impression. Just imagine if you would have no idea how to answer relatively simple questions – this would be a waste of!

Do you have the same fears? We’d love to help you overcome them! There are actually a handful of questions that are very likely to be asked. These are the type of questions that so often come up at conferences, especially when early-career researchers are presenting. You should be prepared for these questions, with an answer in hand, which is not difficult to do! It should be a part of your preparation for the conference talk to think about these questions. You will see, it takes a lot of stress off your shoulders! 

Let us tell you about the most common audience questions at conferences below. If you want to prepare yourself for the next talk, download our free worksheet “Questions I should be ready to answer” . 

Typical audience questions you should have an answer for

1. what’s next … .

Of all the questions that people from the audience could ask you, this is for sure one of the most friendly and helpful ones. This question offers no critique of your work, and it does not ask for clarification of anything you said in your talk. The questioner simply wants to know what your next research steps are. They are interested in your research and express curiosity of how it might go on. 

So, make sure you have an idea about which follow-up steps you want to take with your research. Be prepared to tell the audience a little bit about how you might progress. Think about what you want to say before the question is asked and make a structure of the points you want to say, so you don’t leave out anything important. Use our free worksheet “Questions I should be ready to answer” to help you. 

2. Why should we know more about this?  

If you hear this question right after finishing your talk, you might feel a bit frustrated, or even threatened. Why is the audience asking this at the end? Wasn’t your talk clear enough? Have they not listened to you? It can sound as if the questioner doubts the value or necessity of your work. Or it could feel as if you were not clear enough when describing why you research what you do. 

In fact, this is again a very friendly and helpful question. It has no negative connotation and the questioner has no intention of criticising you or your work. He or she may just want to know more explicitly from you why you did this research and why it is worth doing in such detail. It is a question about the relevance of your work. 

So, what do you do? Tell the audience why you did your research, what you expect as its outcome and give some examples or applications to help them better understand why your work is needed. Use our free worksheet “Questions I should be ready to answer” .  

3. How have you done this …? 

This is a question about your methods or the overall approach you’ve applied. You will probably be surprised to get this question because you’ll think you had explained everything very clearly in your talk. Obviously, this was not the case for the person asking. 

Don’t be scared! You have most likely not failed to talk about your methods, but in presentations, the reporting on the scientific methods that were applied to address a certain question is often the most difficult part for the audience to comprehend. Thus, it is not surprising that questions arise on the matter. 

Properly describing the methods you applied in your research in a conference presentation is challenging. You hardly have the time to go into such detail in order to make the audience fully understand it. In a typical 15-minute presentation slot, which requires time for questions and discussion, so it is really more like a  10-12 minute talk, you have only a few minutes available to explain your approach. 

For this reason, we advise participants in our courses to always keep the methods part of your presentation short, by reducing it to the main steps and avoiding too much detail. You should give only a rough outline of the steps because it is difficult, tiring, and sometimes also a bit boring for the audience to listen to a specific set-up of a workflow or a project when you have not been part of the project.

Instead, spend time in your talk presenting your problem, your findings, your examples, and your take-home message. This is what the audience needs to understand! But of course, it might then trigger a question about HOW have you done it, which again, you can prepare yourself for. It is really a friendly and helpful question from an interested person. The audience shows that they want to better understand how your work was done. 

In your preparation phase, determine which methods or method steps could be unclear to your audience and what kind of information they would need to have for a quick understanding of a complex issue. Use our f ree worksheet “Questions I should be ready to answer” to help you prepare for this step.  

4. What do you mean by …? 

The fourth most common question that you can expect to receive is probably the easiest one to answer. It is a clarifying question where the questioner has not understood a specific term, a process, or an aspect of your presentation that you referred to. 

Questions like this pose no threat but are necessary for your audience to fully get your talk. Don’t forget, you will also have some listeners in your audience that come from other fields and they might not be familiar with your specialist terminology. We can never know what the exact level of knowledge of our audience is, therefore, you will sometimes be surprised to get questions about aspects you think are common knowledge – they probably are not. 

If you follow our rule to only include what you can explain yourself in your presentation, you will never have a problem with this question. If you fully comprehend what you talk about, you will always be able to address this question professionally. If you try to illustrate your vast knowledge by alluding to processes that you do not fully comprehend, you run the risk of not being able to further explain to them when asked by the audience. Keep your presentation air-tight to what you know you know!

You can prepare yourself with an overview of topics and aspects that probably somebody in the audience who isn’t from your field wouldn’t know and potentially need a clear explanation. Our free worksheet “Questions I should be ready to answer” will help you to prepare for this. 

the presentation with questions

Naturally, the Q&A part of a conference presentation is the part that you can’t prepare for as precisely as the actual delivery of your presentation. There will always be an element of surprise for you and this is of course also the purpose of this interaction with the audience. They want to experience you off the cuff, where you have to show a bit of spontaneity. They are not coming to see a well-rehearsed play, but a glimpse of the scientists who are conducting this cutting edge work. 

That does not mean everything taking place during the Q&A is random and you have to give yourself over to fate. An audience can feel when you are nervous and they feel for you when you are a less-experienced presenter. Therefore, they sometimes deliberately ask some of the questions above, because they know these are ‘soft-ball’ questions that you can answer. So, make sure you are prepared for them and show your audience that you have done the work and deserve their attention. We wish you best of luck with your next Q&A session! 

Relevant resources:  

  • Worksheet “Questions, I should be ready to answer”  
  • Presentations course “How to present at international scientific conferences”  
  • Smart Academics Blog #03: How to cope with stage fright?  
  • Smart Academics Blog #24: New to the PhD? – 5 tips for a great start! 
  • Smart Academics Blog #26: First conference presentation? 17 life-saving tips
  • Smart Academics Blog #95: Apply these 5 tips to improve any presentation

Relevant courses and services:

  • 1-day course: Presenting successfully at virtual conferences
  • 3-day course: How to present at international conferences
  • 1-to-1 advice: Presentation Check

More information:  

Do you want to present successfully at conferences? If so, please sign up to receive our free guides.  

© 2019 Tress Academic

#ConferencePresentations #ConferenceTalk #QA #QuestionsAndAnswers, #AudienceQuestions

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What It Takes to Give a Great Presentation

  • Carmine Gallo

the presentation with questions

Five tips to set yourself apart.

Never underestimate the power of great communication. It can help you land the job of your dreams, attract investors to back your idea, or elevate your stature within your organization. But while there are plenty of good speakers in the world, you can set yourself apart out by being the person who can deliver something great over and over. Here are a few tips for business professionals who want to move from being good speakers to great ones: be concise (the fewer words, the better); never use bullet points (photos and images paired together are more memorable); don’t underestimate the power of your voice (raise and lower it for emphasis); give your audience something extra (unexpected moments will grab their attention); rehearse (the best speakers are the best because they practice — a lot).

I was sitting across the table from a Silicon Valley CEO who had pioneered a technology that touches many of our lives — the flash memory that stores data on smartphones, digital cameras, and computers. He was a frequent guest on CNBC and had been delivering business presentations for at least 20 years before we met. And yet, the CEO wanted to sharpen his public speaking skills.

the presentation with questions

  • Carmine Gallo is a Harvard University instructor, keynote speaker, and author of 10 books translated into 40 languages. Gallo is the author of The Bezos Blueprint: Communication Secrets of the World’s Greatest Salesman  (St. Martin’s Press).

Partner Center

The Presentation

Most presentations are divided into 3 main parts (+ questions):

As a general rule in communication, repetition is valuable. In presentations, there is a golden rule about repetition:

  • Say what you are going to say...
  • then say what you have just said.

In other words, use the three parts of your presentation to reinforce your message. In the introduction, you tell your audience what your message is going to be. In the body, you tell your audience your real message. In the conclusion, you summarize what your message was.

We will now consider each of these parts in more detail.

Introduction

The introduction is a very important - perhaps the most important - part of your presentation. This is the first impression that your audience have of you. You should concentrate on getting your introduction right. You should use the introduction to:

  • welcome your audience
  • introduce your subject
  • outline the structure of your presentation
  • give instructions about questions

The following table shows examples of language for each of these functions. You may need to modify the language as appropriate.

Learn English with Gymglish EnglishClub

The body is the 'real' presentation. If the introduction was well prepared and delivered, you will now be 'in control'. You will be relaxed and confident.

The body should be well structured, divided up logically, with plenty of carefully spaced visuals.

Remember these key points while delivering the body of your presentation:

  • do not hurry
  • be enthusiastic
  • give time on visuals
  • maintain eye contact
  • modulate your voice
  • look friendly
  • keep to your structure
  • use your notes
  • signpost throughout
  • remain polite when dealing with difficult questions

Use the conclusion to:

  • (Give recommendations if appropriate)
  • Thank your audience
  • Invite questions

Questions are a good opportunity for you to interact with your audience. It may be helpful for you to try to predict what questions will be asked so that you can prepare your response in advance. You may wish to accept questions at any time during your presentation, or to keep a time for questions after your presentation. Normally, it's your decision, and you should make it clear during the introduction. Be polite with all questioners, even if they ask difficult questions. They are showing interest in what you have to say and they deserve attention. Sometimes you can reformulate a question. Or answer the question with another question. Or even ask for comment from the rest of the audience.

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8 Questions to Answer for Impressive PowerPoint Presentations

by ELB Guest Author | Feb 1, 2017

the presentation with questions

Before I developed a huge passion for presentations and visual communications, I worked as an instructional designer for telecommunications courseware. We had to work with SMEs, usually engineers, to pick their brains to help them structure and put on paper all the knowledge required by technicians in the field. That was not always an easy task, but luckily, we could rely on various processes to help us.

When I started my business as a presentation professional, I realized that designing and developing effective, impactful, and impressive PowerPoint presentations was easier when I applied basics I had used in instructional design. Doing so may take some more time at the beginning, but in the end, it made me save a LOT of development time!

So here is my list of 8 essential questions, or as I also call it, my wheel to better presentations.

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1. What’s the presentation purpose?

In other words, what goal are you pursuing with your presentation?

Training? If you are training a group of people on how to give better online support to your customers, you can start thinking about actuals problems or complaints you have and what type of information could bridge that gap.

Information? Your boss might be asking to have a status report on a specific project. That means you will need to gather important details, such as budget used, project delayed or on time, or any specific roadblocks you had or are expecting.

Selling? If you are expected to sell the company products or services to new customers, you will need relevant information about them, such as what problem they solve, how do they compare to competition, or what added value they have.

2. What message do you want to convey?

Whatever the type of presentation you are doing, start with the end in mind! If you decide what is your core message right from the start, or what are the key elements of your talk, it will make it easier to chose every piece of content required to help people understand and remember your message. This question is usually the one I come back to the most to decide between “need to have” and “nice to know.”

This question will help you start outlining what elements you should discuss in your presentation. Put everything on paper, cue cards, or Post-Its first, so you are not tempted to think about “how it will look” just now. Going back to pen & paper has saved me a lot of time for all projects I worked on, because it was an easy way to sequence and/or reorder my content ideas and test if it made sense.

3. Who is the target audience?

That question will help you decide on the level of details and type of language you will use during your presentation. For example, if you are presenting to executives and managers, they are usually a busy group of people that know the high-level details of everything but could not care about the various individual tasks required to get there. And if you are speaking at a conference, you will often have a very varied group of people in front of you, in terms of level of proficiency for your subject, but with high expectations in regards to details or how-to.

The more you know about the people you will be presenting to, the better. Always keep in mind what are the expectations of people attending your presentation. Example? If you were told they are freaking out about budgets, don’t start talking about what resources are missing first! Address the money matters first and then get to the fact that you are over predictions because you lack resources and you had to pay overtime.

4. How much time do you have?

Preparing a presentation for 30 minutes or 2 hours will not require the same level of detail. The rule of thumb we used when designing courses was to have content for 75% of the allotted time. Doing so gives extra time for questions or delays often experienced when Murphy’s Law kicks in!

If you took the time to answer previous questions, you should already have an idea of what topics will be covered. The time you have to present will only impact the level of details of each topic, not the number of topics you will cover.

5. What type of environment will you be presenting in?

If you know ahead of time about the size of the room, the lighting conditions, the number of people that will attend, how they will be seated, and how far away from the screen they will be, then you will be able to make better design choices. Examples? The larger the room, the more you will need to think about font size. If you have a lot of windows/natural lighting, you will be better with a presentation with light background so colors don’t look they are washed out.

When people can’t read because fonts are too small, or that contrast between text and background is bad, they are not focusing on what you have to say and it hurts your performance.

6. What type of presenter?

This question is not always required, especially if you are designing your own presentations. When designing for others, we need to consider if they are familiar with using a remote, or Presenter View, before building content with that use in mind. But for your own presentations, it might be useful to think if you need anything else during your presentation, such as a flipchart, Sharpies, or any props used for exercises or interaction with the audience.

7. Questions the audience might ask?

Planning for potential questions ahead of time will help you impress the crowd. Why? Because you will have planned additional supporting material, such as more precise data for a project or a detailed break-down of expenses. You might think this is a waste of time. But how much can this extra time bring you back in terms or recognition, credibility, or even extra sales? You will never know until you try. ☺

8. What existing content do you have?

And finally, taking time to evaluate what existing content you already have (such as other presentation files, digital content, photos or videos) will save you a ton of time. When you can reuse content, it means you don’t have to recreate it all. But when reusing content, do take time to adapt the look to your actual presentation template! Copy/pasting content from various places without adaptation makes you look sloppy and unprofessional.

Many people might argue that this list of questions takes too much of their time. But I can guarantee that doing this type of preparation will actually save you some time when you get to the content creation step. You will have a better idea of what you will talk about and how you can best sequence it to tell “your story.” You might even have more ideas of how you can make your content more visual and move away from bullet points and walls of text. THAT will impress your audience, for sure!

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50+ Questions to Generate Audience Participation

50+ Questions to Generate Audience Participation

When it comes to presentations, one of the most important things you can do is get your audience engaged and participating. This can be a challenge, but with the right questions, it can be easy!

In this post, we will provide you with over 50 different questions you can use in your next presentation. These questions are broken down into different types, so you can easily find the ones that will work best for your needs, as well as slide deck recs for each type of question.

Introduction Questions

Using questions in an introduction to a meeting or presentation sets the tone for the rest of your time together. These questions can also give the speaker an idea of the expectations and wants of those in the audience.

While asking some of these questions to a group can quickly devolve into side conversations or serve as distractions, picking one or two of them and having the group answer on their phones can provide real insight. We suggest using the Meeting Kickoff slide deck to quickly ask the questions, get the audience participating, and set the tone for the rest of the meeting.

the presentation with questions

1. Who here has ever been to a meeting where they were completely lost within the first five minutes?

2. How many of you have some knowledge about the topic we're discussing today?

3. What is something you're hoping to come away with after this presentation?

4. What are you tired of hearing about on this topic?

5. What motivates you most to learn about this topic?

6. What can I do to make this presentation valuable to you?

7. If you aren't here due to work obligations, would you still want to be here?

8. How do you prefer to consume information on this topic?

9. Do you prefer presentations/meetings in-person or virtually?

10. What would help you focus for the rest of this presentation?

Word Cloud Questions

Another fantastic way to gauge what your audience feels or thinks about certain topics (while keeping them engaged and entertained) is through the use of word clouds. Unlike open-ended questions, word clouds allow an audience to answer a prompt and give a visual representation to the group on which answer is the most prevalent.

Word clouds are an excellent way to draw a group back in mid-meeting and gauge the mindset of your audience. Slides with Friends has a fantastic Word Cloud Game you can put together in a few moments to boost the participation in your next presentation.

the presentation with questions

1. How are you feeling right now?

2. Who has had the biggest influence on your life?

3. What person in our industry has had the biggest impact on your career?

4. What's something you're worried about professionally today?

5. What's something you're excited about professionally today?

6. What's one of the best ideas our company/group has come up with?

7. How would you describe our last month in one word?

Ice Breaker Questions

If you’re hosting a meeting with a smaller group that’s already comfortable with each other, meeting icebreakers can loosen tongues and generate conversation. These questions are also a bit more fun, perfect for easing into a heavier presentation.

Use our Meeting Icebreaker slide deck to start your meetings with a little bit of sharing and laughter. Setting the tone at the beginning of your meeting will keep the audience engaged throughout.

the presentation with questions

1. What’s your favorite tradition or holiday?

2. What fictional world or place would you like to visit?

3. What is your favorite time of the day? Why?

4. What's one routine that has changed how you work?

5. What's something about the co-worker/person next to you that you appreciate?

6. What's your biggest non-work goal right now?

7. What's something you're willing to share that we don't know about you?

This or That Questions

With larger groups, it can be even more difficult to grab and keep everyone’s attention, much less get the group to participate. The key to using questions with larger audiences is to keep the answers simple and easy to share.

One of our favorite ways of keeping an audience engaged with questions is with this or that questions. Or, as we call them at Slides with Friends, tea vs coffee questions. Our slide deck Tea vs Coffee was created to make engaging with big groups easier, but still fun.

the presentation with questions

1. Coffee or tea?

2. Hot or cold climate?

3. Pager or fax machine?

4. Train or plane?

5. Staycation or vacation?

6. Netflix or Amazon Prime?

7. Mountains or beach?

8. Macs or PCs?

9. Beer or wine?

10. Work from home or in the office?

Discussion Questions

Sometimes to generate audience participation, you need to let them do the talking. This is the concept that inspired the discussion questions we’ve put together. What are things people want to talk about while still staying on topic? What can you ask to get the group involved and engaged without derailing the purpose of the gathering?

With the Brainstorming Session Template slide deck, you can present your questions to the group and either have them answer aloud or through their phones. The key here is taking a step back and letting them lead the conversation.

the presentation with questions

1. What is the best advice you've ever gotten about your career?

2. What was your first job? How has it influenced your career now?

3. How have you seen your industry change in the past 10 years?

4. What is your favorite thing about your job?

5. What is the hardest thing about your job?

6. What are some of the biggest challenges you see in your industry right now?

7. What's one thing you wish was more efficient about your job?

8. What small change can we make today that will shift how we work long-term?

Exit Questions

We’d all love to think every single one of our presentations was a slam dunk, but we know that’s not true. One way to finish up strong and with appreciated audience participation is to ask how you did.

Use the questions below in our Project Wrap Up slide deck to find out how you did and what you can change for the next time you meet. The best way to improve audience participation is to give the group what they want. These questions will help you figure out what that ‘want’ is.

the presentation with questions

1. What was your favorite part of the presentation?

2. What are you going to do with what you learned today?

3. Who is going to help you implement what you learned today?

4. When are you going to start using what you learned today?

5. What's your plan for continuing to learn about this topic?

6. How would you rate the overall quality of the presentation?

7. What could we have done better?

8. Was the pace too fast, too slow, or just right?

9. Did you feel like you learned something new?

Silly Questions

And finally, just for the fun of it, here are a few of our favorite silly questions to ask the crew at your next Happy Hour Hang . Sure, these questions might devolve into laughter, but that still counts as participation!

the presentation with questions

1. How would you describe your job to a preschooler?

2. What would your entrance song be if you were coming out on stage?

3. What place in time do you think you'd fit in the most?

4. What do you think is the most overrated show or movie right now?

5. What fictional team (X-Men, Avengers, Justice League) is the best?

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Don't start your work presentations by simply saying 'hello.' Here's how to be more engaging in the conference room.

  • I'm a public-speaking expert, and I've trained many executives and senior teams.
  • I tell all of them to stop starting work presentations with a salutation or a "hello."
  • Instead, you should engage your audience by telling a story or asking a question.

Insider Today

I'm sure you've sat through plenty of presentations where the presenter starts with a polite salutation like, "Hello, thank you for having me here today," or, "I am so glad to be here" — often followed by their name and professional résumé . Sometimes, if it's an internal meeting, you get the same salutations followed by an agenda slide with bullet points and the presenter narrating it.

As a public-speaking coach who has worked with many executives and senior teams, I know how to make work presentations more engaging. Here's how you should change your approach.

If you stick to your old ways, you aren't leaving a memorable first impression

Your audience is thinking three things when you walk into that conference room or onto that stage: Who is this person, why should I care, and how are they going to solve my problem?

Let's face it: Most people are more interested in how you will solve their problem than in you and your professional résumé. So let's flip the script a bit. Start with the solution to their problem, briefly talk about yourself for credibility, and then give them a reason to care.

Instead, try to capture their attention

Begin your presentation with a hook or a story — something that grabs their attention right from the start. For instance, your hook might be, "Did you know this?" or "What if that?" It could also be a short story that humanizes your services or products.

Most presentations are predictable; wouldn't it be better for both your time and your audience if you could introduce an element of surprise?

Some might feel it rude not to thank the organizer or greet the audience, so I suggest finding another place in your presentation for this. Here's a good structure:

Intro: "What if you could be a more confident and credible presenter? What if you could engage with your audience so they remember your products or services?"

Credibility: "My name is Meridith, and I've been coaching entrepreneurs and executives on how to speak with spark for over a decade, and I am really excited to be here. I want to thank [insert name] for inviting me to share the afternoon with you."

Solution: "Today, I will give you three ways to make your audience remember your products and services, helping you stand out in a competitive market. Let's get this party started!"

You could also try to form a personal connection

Often, presentations lack a personal touch. Try sharing a relevant personal anecdote or experience that relates to your topic. This not only makes your work presentation more relatable but also helps to establish a deeper connection with your audience.

For example, you could say: "When I was younger, I often hid in the back of the classroom, hoping the teacher wouldn't call on me because I didn't want to sound stupid or have the wrong answer. Later in life, I discovered acting and improv comedy . It was through the practice of these two art forms that I developed my confidence and learned how to engage more courageously with others. Today, I will give you solutions for how you can also better engage your audience with spark."

Try to encourage interaction

At the very least, you should try to engage your audience from the beginning — whether in person or on virtual calls. You can ask a thought-provoking question or propose a challenge that involves them directly. This approach shifts the dynamic to more interactive and engaging sessions.

If you implement any of these suggestions, you can make your presentation memorable and impactful immediately. And you'll most likely get a larger return on your investment of time and energy.

In today's fast-paced world, where attention spans are increasingly shorter than ever, it's crucial to grab and hold your audience's attention from the very beginning. By doing so, you set the stage for a more engaging and productive interaction. So challenge yourself to break free from presentation norms and embrace a style that resonates deeply with your audience and leaves a lasting impression.

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Watch: A public speaking champion reveals 3 keys to nailing your business presentation

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  • Main content

Best Q&A Apps to Better Engage Your Audience | Top 5 For Free in 2024

Best Q&A Apps to Better Engage Your Audience | Top 5 For Free in 2024

Ellie Tran • 26 Oct 2023 • 7 min read

Ever hosted a Q&A session with your audience, but had so many questions flock in that you couldn’t manage everything effectively? Maybe you’ve had the opposite, when you’ve asked for questions and received nothing but awkward glances.

There are so many challenges, for both you and your audience, when it comes to keeping everyone on the same page. Well, these are 5 of the Best Q&A Apps that can give you a hand when your audience have theirs in the air.

Table of Contents

  • Pigeonhole Live

Frequently Asked Questions

Tips for better engagement.

  • Live Question and Answer
  • Q&A Session
  • Open Ended Questions

Alternative Text

More funs in your icebreaker session.

Instead of a boring orientation, let's start a fun quiz to engage with your mates. Sign up to take free quiz from AhaSlides template library!

#1 – AhaSlides | Best Q&A Apps

AhaSlides is considered one of the best Q&A apps that equips presenters with everything they need to facilitate lively events. You can use it almost everywhere, during work meetings, training, lessons, webinars, etc.

Its live Q&A tool makes it easy for users to host presentations, with easy setup, cool themes, flexible customisation and background music. It empowers participants to ask questions, speak up, and participate in the discussion. This tool is a real game-changer when it comes to keeping track of all questions and conveniently addressing them.

Every step is simple and free, from the sign-up to creating and hosting your Q&A session. Participants can join any presentation to ask questions (even anonymously) simply by using a short link or scanning a QR code with their phones.

Alongside the Q&A features, you can try other exciting features on AhaSlides like quizzes, word clouds, brainstorming tools and spinning wheel games!

Meeting with a remote presenter answering questions with a live Q&A on AhaSlides

Here are 6 reasons why  AhaSlides  is one of the best Q&A apps…

Question moderation

Approve or dismiss questions before showing them on the presenter's screen.

Profanity filter

Hide inappropriate words in questions submitted by your audience.

Question upvoting

Let participants upvote others' questions. Find the most liked questions in the top questions category.

Send questions whenever

Allow participants to ask questions at any time, so they don't forget them.

Audio embed (paid plans)

Add audio to a slide to have background music on your device and participants' phones.

Participants can send their questions without the fear of being judged or when they don't want to reveal their names.

Other Free Features

  • Full background customisation
  • Customisable heading and description
  • Mark questions as answered
  • Sort questions how you want
  • Clear responses
  • Presenter notes
  • Export questions for later

Cons of AhaSlides

Lack of some display options – AhaSlides displays everything in a fixed layout, with the only customisable option being the alignment of the heading. Users can also pin questions, but there’s no way to zoom in on a particular question or make it full-screen.

#2 – Slido

Slido is a great Q&A and polling platform for meetings, virtual seminars and training sessions. It sparks conversations between presenters and their audience and lets them express their opinions.

Slido makes online presentations more engaging, fun and exciting by providing many interactive tools. Features including polling, Q&A and quizzes make it easy for users to have a virtual conversation with their audiences.

This platform offers an easy way to collect questions, prioritise discussion topics and host all-hands meetings or any other format of Q&A. Slido is user-friendly; it only takes a few simple steps for both presenters and participants to set up and use. A small lack of visualisation options follows its simplicity, but everything it has in store for the users is pretty enough for online interaction.

A screenshot of a question asked on Slido, one of the best Q&A apps

Here are 6 reasons why  Slido  is one of the best Q&A apps…

Fullscreen highlights

Show highlighted questions in fullscreen.

Search questions by keywords to save time.

Archive answered questions to clear the screen and see them afterwards.

Question editing

Allow presenters to edit questions in the admin panel before showing them on their screens.

Let participants upvote others' questions. The most liked ones are in the popular category.

Question review (paid plans)

Review, approve or dismiss questions before presenting them on the screen.

  • 40 default themes
  • Anonymous questions
  • Data export

Cons of Slido

  • Lack of visual flexibility – Slido only provides background customisation for paid plans. There are no heading, description and layout customisations and Slido display no more than 6 questions on the screen.
  • Lack of some useful features – There are no presenter notes on Q&A slides, profanity filter to block unwanted words and no chat for participants to leave messages.

#3 – Mentimeter

Mentimeter is an online polling tool and interactive platform to use in a presentation, speech or lesson. It’s easy to use, vividly designed and often used to add interactive activities with notable features like Q&A, polling and surveys. The platform enables users to have more fun and practical sessions with their audiences and create better connections.

Its Q&A feature works in real-time, making it easy to collect questions, interact with participants and gain insights afterwards. The audience can join with their smartphones to connect to the presentation, ask questions, play quizzes or join other brainstorming activities.

Educational institutes widely use Mentimeter and it also offers many plans, features and tools for enterprises to use in their meetings, virtual seminars or training sessions. Despite a slight lack of display flexibility, Mentimeter is still a go-to for many professionals, trainers and employers.

A presenter and audience screen during a Q&A session using Mentimeter

Here are 6 reasons why  Mentimeter  is one of the best Q&A apps…

Stop questions

Presenters may stop questions during the Q&A sessions.

2-screen preview (Beta)

Preview presenter's and participants' screens at the same time.

Hide inappropriate words in questions submitted by participants.

Advanced layouts (Beta)

Customise Q&A slide layouts how you like.

  • Heading & meta description customisation
  • Allow audience to see each other’s questions
  • Show results on all slides
  • Add slide images
  • Audience comments

Cons of Mentimeter

Lack of display options – There are only 2 question categories on the presenter’s screen – questions and answered , but confusingly, 2 different categories on participants’ screens – top questions and recent . Presenters can only display 1 question at one time on their screens, and they can’t pin, highlight or zoom in on the questions.

#4 – Vevox

Vevox is considered one of the most dynamic anonymous questions websites. It’s a highly rated polling and Q&A platform with multiple features and integrations to bridge the gap between presenters and their audiences.

This helpful tool helps users collect data and get instant feedback and engagement. It’s quick and easy to use, suitable for businesses and educational institutions. Besides audience Q&A, Vevox offers many exciting features such as surveys, quizzes and word clouds.

Vevox integrates with many other apps, bringing more convenience to its users. Its simple, elegant design could be another plus point for Vevox in the eyes of trainers, professionals or employers when considering which platform to use.

Compared to other platforms, the features Vevox provides are not that varied, although the live polling and Q&A features are still in development. Many of its Q&A features aren’t available on the free plan, but of course, there are some basic, necessary ones to use. In virtual meetings, participants can join and send questions easily with their phones by using an ID or scanning the QR code, just like many other platforms.

A list of questions on a Q&A slide on Vevox, one of the best Q&A apps

Here are 6 reasons why  Vevox  is one of the best Q&A apps…

Message board

Let participants send live messages to each other during the presentation.

Theme customisation

Presenters can customise themes even in presenter view. Users with free plans can only choose themes from the library.

Let participants upvote others' questions. The most liked questions are in the most liked category.

Slide customisation (paid plans)

Presenters can customise the background, heading and description of the Q&A slide.

Question sorting

Questions are in 2 categories - most liked and most recent .

Question moderation (paid plans)

Other features.

Report export (paid plans)

Cons of Vevox

  • Lack of features – No presenter notes or participant view mode to test the session before presenting. Also a lot of features are missing from the free plan.
  • Lack of display options – There are only 2 question categories and presenters can’t pin, highlight or zoom in on the questions.

#5 – Pigeonhole Live

Launched in 2010, Pigeonhole Live fosters interaction between presenters and participants in online meetings. It’s not only one of the best Q&A apps but also an audience interaction tool using live Q&A, polls, chat, surveys and more to enable excellent communication.

Pigeonhole Live’s features can facilitate many different session formats with specific demands. It opens conversations in conferences, town halls, workshops, webinars, and businesses of all sizes.

Something unique about Pigeonhole Live is that it doesn’t work in the classic presentation format like the 4 platforms above. You work in ‘sessions’ , that can be turned off and on by the event hosts. In an event, there can be admin and other moderators with different roles to better manage the Q&A sessions.

A list of questions from an audience using Pigeonhole Live

Here are 6 reasons why  Pigeonhole Live  is one of the best Q&A apps…

Send questions in advance

Allow participants to send questions before the Q&A even starts.

Project questions

Display the questions that presenters are addressing on the screens.

Question upvoting (paid plans)

Let participants upvote others' questions. The most liked questions are in the top voted category.

Written answer

Presenters can respond with text answers..

View customisation (paid plans)

Customise theme, colours, logos and more for the Q&A sessions.

Participants' comments

Participants can add comments below questions to share their opinions and ask follow-up questions.

  • Allow anonymous questions
  • Archive questions
  • Announcements
  • Star/mark questions as answered
  • Customise the agenda display on the audience web app

Cons of Pigeonhole Live

  • Not too user-friendly – Although the website is simple, there are too many steps and modes, which is quite hard to figure out for first time users.
  • Lack of layout customisation.

Website where you can ask questions anonymously?

There are several websites where you can ask questions anonymously, including Quora, Reddit, Ask.fm, Curious Cat and Whisper.

Is Slido really anonymous?

Slido is a popular audience interaction platform used for presentations, conferences, and events. While Slido does offer anonymous features, it’s important to note that the level of anonymity may depend on the specific settings and configuration chosen by the event organizer.

Is there a tool to check presenters for free?

If you’re looking for a tool to check the availability of presenters for free, there isn’t a specific tool dedicated solely to that purpose. Therefore, you should use a professional social media platform, like LinkedIn to connect with the right presenters!

What is the free Q&A app for events?

AhaSlides is a free interactive presentation software for hosting live Q&A sessions in events, meetings, classrooms, and many more.

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A lifelong learner, a traveller and content creator eager to explore the best of both worlds: the real and virtual one full of interactive activities with AhaSlides.

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Rishi Sunak to appear exclusively on GB News People's Forum and YOU can join the audience HERE

Rishi Sunak to appear exclusively on GB News People's Forum and YOU can join the audience HERE

WATCH: Rishi Sunak urges GB News viewers to sign up for the People's Forum

Dan Falvey

By Dan Falvey

Published: 06/02/2024

Updated: 07/02/2024

This is your opportunity to put your questions to Rishi Sunak during a live TV Q&A

Don't miss, james bond's barbara broccoli sparks frustration after disappointing update, sir chris hoy: british olympic legend diagnosed with cancer, brett favre gives different take to tom brady about travis kelce's shove on andy reid, harry confirms imminent return to uk as duke intends to see king 'as much as he can', meghan and harry instruct invictus games officials to call them 'ma'am and sir', kate's surgery was 'no minor matter' - it's 'obviously major' with long recovery, hundreds of thousands of households to get £300 tax-free from today, drivers risk massive £5,000 fine for little-known driveway and parking rules, britons who suffer from respiratory conditions cautioned about visiting spain amid weather warning, trending on gb news, sir tom jones given stern warning as humperdinck makes feelings clear on feud.

Rishi Sunak will be grilled on the issues that matter most to you - the Great British public - as GB News presents the first major event of Election 2024.

Next week the Prime Minister will take part in an hour long Q&A with voters from across the UK for "GB News People's Forum: The Prime Minister".

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST NOW FOR YOUR CHANCE TO BE PART OF THE STUDIO AUDIENCE

The live event will take place from 8pm on Monday February 12 in the North East of England, with a studio audience made up of a cross-section of UK voters.

Hosted by Stephen Dixon, those invited to take part will be given the opportunity to put their questions to the Leader of the Conservative Party.

The event will kick-off a series of special broadcasts planned across GB News this year, as the clock ticks down to the General Election.

GB News has also invited Keir Starmer to participate in a forum where voters will be able to quiz the Labour leader on his vision for Britain.

In a direct message to GB News viewers ahead of next week, the Prime Minister said: "I want to hear about the issues that matter to you."

With the topics discussed on the night in the hands of the audience, he encouraged questions on the matters voters care about most, be it "the economy, immigration, the NHS", or anything else.

People’s Forum presenter Stephen Dixon added: "This is exactly what GB News was created for - bringing those in power before the people of this great nation.

"The Prime Minister will come face to face with the voters who lent the Tories their support. Can he keep them?"

With a limited number of audience places available to take part in the event, those interested are urged to register their interest in taking part now.

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Example prompts to try with Microsoft Copilot with Graph-grounded chat

Experience the power of Get started with Microsoft Copilot with Graph-grounded chat  (formerly named Microsoft 365 Chat). See how much time you can save and how much more you can get done. Use Microsoft Copilot to catch up, create content, and ask questions. This article provides several example prompts you can try.

Tip:  When you’re giving Copilot instructions, you can direct it to specific work content by using the forward slash key (“/”), then typing the name of a file, person, or meeting.  If you write a prompt and don’t reference a specific file, person, or meeting, Copilot will determine the best source of data for its response, including all your work content.

Synthesize large amounts of data into simple, consumable responses and catch up on things quickly. Here are some examples:

You've been on vacation now you're back. You need to find out what's going on with Project X. Find the latest about Project X. What's the current timeline? When are deliverables due?

You've just joined a new team and you're trying to ramp up on recent activities. Summarize team communications over the last 30 days. What are the team's priorities? 

There's been a recent change in how your team is tracking work. Find information about the new way our team is tracking work. Include email communications and points of contact for questions.

Create content

Brainstorm ideas and draft new content based on information at work. Here are some examples:

You want to draft a one-page description of a new project (let's call it Project Foo) that's just about to kick off at work. Using information in file1, file2, and file3, write a one-page description of Project Foo. Write it so non-technical people can understand what the project is about and when it's scheduled to be completed.

You're preparing an email to invite customers to attend an upcoming conference and visit your company's booth. Using information in Document Z, write a fun, catchy email inviting our customers to come see us at our booth during next month's conference.

You want to plan a morale event for your team. List 3-5 ideas for group activities in the Seattle area that would be suitable for my team. Include approximate cost and time estimates. 

Ask questions

Find information and get answers quickly, even if you can't remember where the information you need is or how it was shared. Here are some examples:

You need to know what's left in the budget for supplies. How much did we spend on supplies for Project Foo?  How much budget do we have left for Project Foo?

Your team received customer feedback. You want to identify the top things your team should address. Review the feedback we received from customers via email last week. What are the top three issues we should address?

Overview of Microsoft Copilot with Graph-grounded chat

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KOKH – Oklahoma City

Democratic lawmakers have lingering questions after Ryan Walters' education budget presentation

Democratic lawmakers are weighing in on Oklahoma State Superintendent Ryan Walters' education budget proposal . 

State Rep. John Waldron (D-Tulsa) tells Fox 25 he appreciated Walters' presentation at the Capitol, but he still has some questions about his proposal.

"We're waiting to get back more information from the Supt. based on our questions," State Rep. Waldron said.

Waldron left Wednesday morning's budget presentation wondering how Walters will measure teacher growth.

"For the sake of giving teachers raises."

He also is curious about how the State Department of Education is managing federal dollars, following reports of turnover at the agency.

"It raises real questions for us about whether our use of federal dollars will meet federal standards. Here I'm concerned that we might later on down the road be on the hook for paying back the federal government."

Despite lingering questions, Walters calls his plan the "most innovative education budget in Oklahoma history."

Waldron challenges that claim.

"In terms of history, the Supt. is a young man," Waldron said. "He should look at it a little deeper."

The State Supt. says he's committed to "ensuring that every child has a quality education, and empowering educators to inspire greatness. 

Waldron supports those goals to an extent.

"Well, who could be against that? But you can count on people at the House, especially us House Democrats, to ask where the money is going, and are we being the best stewards of taxpayer dollars. I appreciate a practical approach to things. I would love to see less of that politicized rhetoric we've often gotten from the Supt. because we really need to focus on how we're spending money in the state's largest appropriated agency."

Fox 25 asked Waldron when he'll have his questions answered. "That's a fine question," he replied.

Walters provided our newsroom with the following statement:

Investing in education isn’t just about numbers on a balance sheet; it’s about shaping the future of our state. I am committed to laying a robust foundation for tomorrow’s leaders, ensuring that every child has a quality education, and empowering educators to inspire greatness. It’s a blueprint for Oklahoma education and a testament to our unwavering belief in cultivating an environment for students to thrive.

Democratic lawmakers have lingering questions after Ryan Walters' education budget presentation

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  4. How To Answer Questions After a Presentation (With Tips)

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  5. How to Answer Presentation Questions Effectively (Plus Tips)

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    1. 'How do I respond confidently to a question I simply don't know the answer to?' 2. 'What if I don't understand the question? 3. 'How do I deal with hostile questions?' Our first task is to re-frame the way we think about being asked questions. For many people that presents a significant challenge. It is often perceived as the moment of truth

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    1. Pitch your presentation at the right level for your audience The first stage of questions is birth - they have to be born in your audience's mind. If your presentation is too simple for the level of knowledge in your audience - it's all material they've covered before - they won't have any questions.

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